After 10 years of hiding, a suspected rapist was finally arrested in his home town Tuesday, September 18, 2012 by PRO8 operatives. (Photo by PNP)

The Police Regional Special Operations Group in Eastern Visayas arrested Tuesday a barangay chairman in Samar for allegedly raping his drinking buddy 10 years ago.

Police Regional Director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria identified the suspect as certain Dindo Contridas y Centino, 33 years old, single with live-in partner and Barangay Chairman of Brgy. Maputi, Zumarraga, Samar.

Zumarraga is an island town situated southwest of Samar’s capital Catbalogan City.

“The suspect went into hiding after the perpetration of the crime and returned only to his hometown after almost 10 years, and consequently get elected as village chief,” Director Soria informed.

The police said Centino was arrested while having a drinking spree with friends at Pier 1 site, Brgy 6, Catbalogan City at around 11:30 o’clock in the morning of September 18, 2012 by elements of Regional Special Operation Group 8 led by Police Inspector Constantino Jabonete Jr.

The suspect was nabbed by virtue of a Warrant of Arrest (WOA) issued by Hon. Judge Agerico A. Avila of the Regional Trial Court, 8th Judicial Region, Branch 29, Catbalogan City docketed under Criminal Case No. 5678 of the crime of Rape.

No bail was recommended for the suspect’s temporary liberty who is now detained at the Samar Provincial Jail.

Police records revealed that sometime in year 2001 at Pier 2 Site in Catbalogan City, the suspect allegedly raped his drinking buddy who was unconscious at the time and after that he went into hiding. After nine years of hiding, he went back and run in the October 2010 barangay elections and got elected. However, unfortunately for him, the police after reviewing the old files, arrested him and put him in jail.

Under RA 8353 or The Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is committed by a man who shall have a carnal knowledge of a woman through force, threat or intimidation; when the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority and when the offended party is under 12 years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances already mentioned are present.

With the abolition of the death penalty, it carries a sentence of reclusion perpetua or 20 years and one day to 40 years imprisonment.

“It is not enough that cases are filed against criminal suspects. Arrest of wanted person’s plays a vital role in the performance of the PNP’s core functions. It is with this context the PRO8 had intensified the implementation of LOI Manhunt: CHARLIE, the PNP’s campaign for the neutralization of wanted persons’, PCSupt. Soria disclosed.