Capitol guard denies rape plaint

By: Gerome Dalipe

A PROVINCIAL guard accused of raping a masseuse inside the Iloilo Provincial Capitol on May 25, 2019 has denied sexually assaulting the complainant.

While he admitted using the office of former Provincial Board member Nielo Tupas for his “massage session,” Roen Ledesma said he merely wanted to relax his “tired” body.

“He had his body massaged in the office (of Tupas) because he was allegedly not feeling well. But he denied raping the female masseuse,” provincial lawyer Mae Therese Albacete told Daily Guardian.

Due to his admission of using the government office for his massage clinic, the fact-finding committee has recommended the conduct of a formal administrative charge against Ledesma.

The committee endorsed to Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. that Ledesma be charged with misconduct and disgraceful and immoral conduct, said Albacete.

But once approved, Albacete said that Defensor will issue an executive order for the creation of an investigation committee that will conduct the formal investigation against Ledesma.

During the course of the investigation, Ledesma will be asked to submit his sworn affidavit and other supporting documents relative to the charges hurled against him.

The committee decided to proceed with the conduct of formal investigation after Ledesma admitted using the office of Provincial Board member Nielo Tupas when he asked the masseuse to massage him.

“We would like to remind the respondent of his responsibilities as an employee of the Provincial Government to be mindful of his conduct as a public employee and to observe professionalism as regards his acts in relation to the performance of his functions without undermining high regard to public office,” read the fact-finding report.

Ledesma, of Brgy. Bugnay, Barotac Viejo, was accused of raping a masseuse inside the office of Tupas.

Police had also filed a rape complaint against Ledesma before the Office of the Iloilo City Prosecutor.

In her judicial affidavit, the 45-year-old complainant said she was attending to her mother at a public hospital when Ledesma called her for a “massage service” last May 25, a Saturday.

Since she also needed money at that time, the victim agreed. Ledesma then instructed her to go to the Provincial Capitol. Ledesma then ushered her to the 6th floor of the building and entered the office of Tupas.

Ledesma then locked the office’s main door and took a bath. The guard also kept on praising the complaint about having a good body shape despite having six children.

While she was massaging him, the victim said Ledesma suddenly held her left arm and hugged her tightly.

She resisted, but the guard overpowered her. She struggled to free herself, but the guard allegedly threatened to kill her.

After raping her, Ledesma opened the office’s main door and the victim ran outside towards the elevator.

The guard offered the victim monetary consideration in exchange for a settlement of the case.

But the complainant declined the offer and pursued the rape case against Ledesma.

Ledesma has been detailed at Tupas’ office since 2013. However, he was recalled for reportedly harassing some female employees in December 2018.