Duterte says rape, not poverty, could be behind Mariannet’s suicide

Nov. 17, 2007

By Cheryll D. Fiel
Davao Today

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte suspected the 12-year-old Mariannet Amper could have been raped, based on the findings bared by the medico legal officer who conducted the autopsy.

The mayor, who ordered the girls body exhumed five days after burial, said it was possible that rape could have driven the girl to kill herself. He also said that its also possible that someone could have killed her.

Dr. Tomas Dimaandal, medico-legal officer of the Regional Crime Laboratory, bared hours after the autopsy, that two lacerations were found on the genitals, which raised the possibility that the girl could have been raped. “The lacerations were in the 3 o’ clock and 9’o clock position,” said Dimaandal, who claimed to have done the autopsy in less than two hours.

As he announced the autopsy report, Duterte said the media should refrain from going into melodramatic reporting. He was referring to how media had linked the suicide of the 12-year-old girl to the poverty suffered by millions of Filipinos at the time when the administration is being rocked by a series of bribery scandals.

Regional Crime Laboratory Medico Legal Officer Dr. Tomas Dimaandal explains to the media his findings on the autopsy conducted on the body of 12-year-old Mariannet Amper. (davaotoday.com photo by Cheryll D. Fiel)

Its not fair to us, its not fair to the girl who died, its not fair to the Filipino people because you are covering the truth, Duterte said. If theres poverty in our midst, its not the fault of the city government of Davao, we are not the captain of the ship, its Manila, he added.

He said the whole episode has turned into a very sordid event, because of the penchant of people to color the incident with romantic fairy tale.

The tough-talking city mayor, who is currently engaged in a running feud with political rival Prospero Nograles, was irked when a top official of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) pointed out the need to take a look into the poverty situation in Davao City, that prompted a girl like Mariannet to commit suicide.

Based on the autopsy findings, Duterte ordered a criminal investigation into the case. “From here, the death of Marinanet is now subject to criminal investigation,” he said.

He ordered Talomo police chief, Col. Matthew Baccay to “invite” the father for questioning. He said he was not pointing a finger at the father as the suspect. He only wanted to question him why he did not report the girls death to the police immediately. “Why did it have to take him five days to report the death of her child, and a violent one, at that? he asked. A violent death is always subject to suspicion,” he said.

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