Woman who accused Cebu cops of rape gunned down; police officer later dies by suicide

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Cebu City (CNN Philippines, April 20) — A police officer being investigated for alleged rape and extortion took his own life on Monday, hours after his female accuser was fatally shot in Cebu City.

Ritchie Nepomuceno accused Police Staff Sergeant Celso Colita of raping her twice in a Cebu City motel in March.

She also filed criminal complaints against Colita and 10 other police officers assigned to the Sawang Calero Police precinct for extorting ₱170,000 from her.

The complainant also claimed the policemen tortured arrested suspects in a secret detention cell inside the precinct.

Nepomuceno, 35, was shot dead Monday night along N. Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Basak-Pardo in Cebu City.

Colita was summoned to the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit inside the Camp Sergio Osmena Sr. following Nepomuceno's death.

While undergoing questioning, the police officer excused himself to go to the restroom. Station personnel then heard a gunshot and found Colita unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Staff Sargeant Rey Lumagod. desk officer of Cebu City Police Office station 2, said Colita was rushed to the hospital by his colleagues but he was declared dead on arrival.

The Police's Integrity Management and Enhancement Group Visayas Field Unit and the Commission on Human Rights have been conducting a parallel investigation on 11 policemen, including Colita, who have been relieved from their posts.

Aside from Colita, the relieved officers include Police Corporal Georny Abrasado, Corporal John Carl Aceron, Staff Sergeant Joseph Alcoseba, Staff Sergeant Michael Rhey Cabizares, Chief Master Sergeant Eric Edgar Emia, Corporal Ejill Ferrolino, Corporal Carlo Irizari, Corporal Rochelito Mabulay, Corporal Emmanuel Martinez, and Corporal Junel Pedroza.

The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas said Nepomuceno revealed that she had been receiving threats from Colito.

"Ritchie told me that the policeman told her to watch out because 'I will come and get you wherever you are hiding. I will find you.' That is the gist of what Ritchie told me of the text she received from Colita," CHR-7 chief investigator Leo Villarino said in the vernacular on Tuesday, recalling his conversations with Nepomuceno.

Villarino said Nepomuceno did not accept the offer to be placed under the witness protection because she felt safer when the 11 policemen were restricted to camp and disarmed on March 30.

The CHR official said her death will be a "major loss" to their investigation. Nevertheless, they will push through with the probe, he added.

Nepocmuceno's case prompted more complainants to come forward to CHR-7 and the police’s Integrity Monitoring Enhancement Group in the Visayas to report abuses they endured in the hands of Sawang Calero policemen.