Kin of arrested water district employee seeks help

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Friday, June 13, 2014

THE arrest of an employee of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) has caused alarm and apprehension for his safety.

The family of Emmanuel C. Mulawan, senior architectural draftsman of COWD, sought the help of Mayor Oscar Moreno on Thursday after he was arrested by the police at the COWD office midday on June 11.

Mulawan who has been vocal in releasing documents of alleged anomalous transactions at COWD was arrested by police by virtue of a warrant of his arrest dated September 20, 2013 issued by Branch 20, Regional Trial Court, 4th Judicial Region in Imus, Cavite and penned by Judge Josefina E. Siscar, assisting judge.


Mulawan was charged with rape under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, a nonbailable offense.

However, the warrant though did not bear the name of the alleged rape victim.

The last time Maria Sonny Mulawan, wife of Mulawan, saw her husband was on June 11 when he left home for work. Later that day, she was informed her husband was arrested that prompted the family to go to Gitagum Police station where Mulawan was under custody.

“Before he went out from his office, four policemen came and served the warrant of his arrest on an alleged rape case. He was surprised, but he continued reading. Before he could finish reading it, he was immediately handcuffed by the police. He was detained in Gitagum police station afterwards. By dawn, the policemen brought him to Imus in Cavite. My husband told me this is just an obstacle in our lives,” Sonny told reporters in a press conference held at Moreno’s office Thursday.

Sonny recalled the names of the arresting police as Magsiña, Obsioma, Bating, and Cabugsa as the chief of police.

“I know my husband well. We have been married for 22 years already. We have three children, they know him well too. He is a good, faithful and loving person. So something like this is very unusual,” she said while baffled with the sudden arrest of her husband.


Mulawan’s son, Emmanuel II couldn’t believe his father has been arrested for rape.

“I know my father well. I have a younger sister and my father always warns me not to ‘touch’ my sister. With that, I know my father is a good man. He cannot rape anyone nor it crossed his mind to even attempt to do it,” Emmanuel II said.

His brother, Art, agreed with him.

“Although my father is discreet with everything he does since he never informed us the problems he is encountering, I know him that he couldn't do such act. I am blank on rape, really,” Art said.

Emmanuel II questioned why the warrant of arrest issued to his father looked suspicious.

“First, the warrant issued is photocopied. Second, the rape victim, if it was true that he (father) did rape somebody, was not named. Third, the place where he could be found and arrested is not COWD but Philippine Water Consultant Services of the 7114th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City,” he said.

“For me, everything written, everything the police did to my father, were uncanny,” he added.

Mulawan’s wife and children could only hope for his safety.


Antonio B. Young, president of the First Labor Organization of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (Flow), where Mulawan is a member, described Mulawan as a vocal person when it comes to issues and anomalies in their office and has a personal conviction to expose the anomalies allegedly committed by some officials and members of the board of water district, one of which is the bulk water contract of the COWD with Rio Verde.

“He always has strong and profound opinions on issues in the office. He posts them on his [Facebook] wall and groups. We always have a great respect on him,” Young said.

“His exposes have caused the management of the COWD to file for the annulment of the bulk water contract,” Young added.

On his Facebook wall as of May 10, 2014, he posted scanned documents of results from the Commission on Audit’s report on the alleged graft and corrupt practices of COWD board of directors together with the contractor of the Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. Pictures are also posted in an album on his account.

Members of Flow told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that there might have been ‘some’ who got offended with his exposès.

“I do not meddle with my husband’s doings and whereabouts. But I have been telling him to minimize his protest against the bigwigs because I am scared that I might lose him one day,” Sonny said.


Moreno said that the circumstances behind Mulawan’s arrest is unclear, despite the issuance of the supposed warrant of arrest, and that he is closely working with authorities to find out Mulawan’s whereabouts for his safety.

“I am hoping that it was really a legitimate operation and no ‘hokus pokus’ in between. I think the real question here is, who is the person behind all of this?” Moreno said.

“In my own assessment lang based on how I see this, Emmanuel’s liberty was curtailed,” Moreno added.

Moreno has called lawyer Edgar Cabanlas to handle Mulawan’s case and file the writ of habeas corpus first thing Friday.

Young said that they have already exerted efforts and contacted friends in Manila to ensure that Mulawan will be treated accordingly.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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