Nurse Florence Rape Case
The Nurse Florence Case
A 21-year old volunteer nurse was abducted and raped in a corn field of South Upi Maguindanao last September 25, 2010. Passers-by found Florence (not her real name), bare and unconscious on the morning of September 26, 2010. According to some sources, the volunteer nurse was on her way to Brgy. Nuro in Upi to visit a midwife but was dragged and flagged down in a corn field by at least 10 people who took turns in raping her.
Suspects were identified by South Upi town councilor Warlito Bansigan which are all residents of South Upi and have been under the custody of the police. The suspects were Glenn Saldoa (son of a retired employee of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Maguindanao, Eugene Biscara (son of a retired school teacher), Ruscom Sangclap, Michael Candelario, and Jeffrey Fernandez according to GMANews.tv.
Several reports asserted that Florence was seen with the suspects inside a videoke bar in Timanan before the incident. Rey Insular, the videoke house owner where Florence was last seen, said that the alleged suspects were innocent and they were the first to respond and rush Florence to the hospital.
Contrary to the former report, the victim’s friends claimed that Florence was never seen neither smoking nor drinking especially in public places. Co-workers and friends of the raped victim were crying for justice of their friend.
Other speculations unfolded the involvement of a political figure in the gang rape. South Upi, Maguindanao Vice-Mayor Jordan Ibrahim’s name was dragged in the gang rape. Some informants said that the vice mayor was in the area of the videoke bar. When Florence left the place, Fulgencio (the confessed rapist who later retracted) and the vice mayor allegedly followed her.
The rape victim, who was transferred from Cotabato Regional and Medical Center to Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, had regained consciousness already. However, due to the head injuries she sustained, the right side of her body is paralyzed. Dr. Leopoldo Vega of Southern Philippines Medical Center stated that gradual recovery is observed in the victim but because of the physical and psychological trauma that Florence is undergoing, slow progress towards recuperation is noted. The volunteer nurse has difficulty sleeping at night and is always seen crying. Memory loss is also experienced by Florence and according to the doctor there are times that the victim forgets her own name.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had subjected the suspects for DNA testing to determine their involvement in the sexual abuse. A chemist from Davao took the samples of the suspects and the specimens were brought to NBI laboratory in Manila for examination and the result would be out in three weeks.
Early forensic evidence showed that only one DNA profile was found from the volunteer nurse, proposing that she was not ganged rape but abused by one person. Justice Secretary de Lima stated, “The DNA profile points to a single perpetrator. It’s not any of the six, and it’s not Fulgencio. It’s most probably not gang-rape, that is what the NBI is looking into now. It may not be a conclusion yet, but so far the evidence points to that — that it’s most probably not a gang rape.” The suspects together with the videoke house owner were released after they were cleared from the involvement.
According to abs-cbnnews.com, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is giving South Upi, Maguindanao Vice-Mayor Jordan Ibrahim ultimatum to voluntarily submit himself to buccal (oral) swabbing and taking of blood samples for DNA profiling in order to rule him out as suspect in the rape of 21-year-old volunteer nurse, “Florence” last September 25.