Councilor Arkie Manuel Yulde from the town of Lopez in Quezon province was a no-show the day his legal counsel presented a 25-year-old man who gave testimony that those crimes Yulde was accused of were all trumped-up charges.
Imagine this— this councilor spent six months in chains in a nondescript hole in the wall in Rosario Pangasinan. This was a day when he was supposed to announce to the world that the case filed against him for kidnapping and rape was already dismissed yet, no show. Any ordinary man would have wanted to savor the sweet smell of freedom and would have liked to share it with the world.
But, nay. Neither face nor shadow of the controversial Councilor running for the mayoral post in his town of Lopez was ever seen inside La Collina Restaurant in Makati. Only his lawyer, a certain Attorney Valdemor, and this masked 25-year-old man appeared before the media to say that Yulde had nothing to do with the kidnapping, illegal detention, and rape of an 18-year-old woman from Abra.
What’s so curious about this case is the allegation of this masked man that his father framed Yulde for the crimes he was accused of. A check with the court shows that this masked man was also a witness used in several crimes in Mangaldan and Pozzorubio in Pangasinan.
A curious one because the masked man who later gave his name as Justine Aquino told the media that the kidnapping with serious illegal detention and rape case filed against Yulde was just a demolition job created by his father, Jaime a provincial reporter of the Manila Times.
Justine says Jaime invented all of these: the medico-legal, the affidavit of an 18-year-old girl, and several others attesting to the veracity of the rape and kidnapping claims et al., And it was all because, says Justine, Yulde incurred the ire of Congresswoman Helen Tan and her husband, Ronnel.
The Tan couple reportedly gave Jaime 50 million pesos to do the dirty work, a considerable sum even by today’s standards says Justine in a press conference called by Yulde’s lawyer Valdemor.
So, in the minds of Yulde, his lawyer, and probably of that masked man, their mission is over: they have established a link between Jaime and the Tan couple, enough to cast suspicions about the case of rape filed against Yulde. Doubts, however, persist.
Police arrested Yulde last September 2021 in his house at Barangay Burgos in Lopez town based on a legitimate arrest warrant issued by Judge Roselyn Andrada-Borja of the Regional Trial Court Branch 53 of Rosales in Pangasinan. That’s a fact.
Another fact is that Jaime says he only knew of the rape case the same day Yulde got arrested. An anti-crime crusader informed him about this case, and like any other reporter, Jaime went to a press conference called by the victims to cover the topic.
When Jaime met the victim, her testimony was incontrovertible. First, she worked for Yulde as the house helper. Second, the victim was the niece of Yulde’s common-law wife. And third, there is nothing, absolutely nothing for the victim to gain for accusing someone of rape, kidnapping, and illegal detention. The fact is, the victim works for a politician, and isn’t it understandable for her to protect the reputation of her boss rather than cause a controversy. Why would a poor girl from the impoverished province of Abra invent such a severe crime against the one who feeds her and have power over her? How would a poor girl fare against a town councilor who claims to be very close to the Governor of the province, Danny Suarez? Who, in her right mind, would fight city hall?
Yes, yes, Yulde claims that the case was dismissed. A check with the court shows that it was denied because the judge granted Yulde’s appeal that his right to a speedy trial would be harmed due to the victim’s absence before the court. The case was not dismissed due to the possibility of the issue being a trumped-up one; no. it was denied due to a technicality availed by most defendants in several cases.
Before a person can be charged for a crime, there must be what lawyers call requisites, meaning conditions that make an act punishable. In the cases filed against Yulde, especially rape, there must be testimony from a victim that a rape did occur. Second, the sexual act was not with consent, and third, sexual intercourse, its existence proved by a medico-legal. In Yulde’s case, there was a victim, an 18-year-old woman who, before her debut, claimed to have been assaulted inside a motel in Rosario Pangasinan for four sadistic days. And she appeared before a fiscal who decided that there was probable cause and that a warrant of arrest was in order.
But of course, such a case would indeed be dismissed when the victim herself fails to appear in court to corroborate her testimony. And is it possible for someone to be framed for kidnapping, illegal detention, and rape? Why accuse someone of a complex crime when the simple crime of rape is enough?
Let me clarify this—we respect the decision of the court to dismiss the case. However, Yulde himself turns this case into a political one by dragging his political enemies into a purely personal issue. And when something like this turns political, it opens itself to debate discourse. And this piece is just trying to determine if these allegations, political ones, are accurate. At best, this is poorly scripted.