Rape suspect nailed for selfies

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Friday, April 4, 2014

CEBU CITY - If not for Facebook, Niño Cueva would still be free today, almost two years after allegedly raping a high school student in Barangay Casili, Mandaue City.

Cueva, 20, who used another name on the social networking site, posted selfies or self-portraits that helped officers of the Canduman Police Station trace his whereabouts.

He was arrested inside an internet cafe in Bogo City in northern Cebu last March 29.


Regional Trial Court Branch 28 Judge Raphael Yrastorza released an arrest warrant against Cueva for the case of forcible abduction with rape under Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

A 17-year-old girl accused Cueva and his friend of raping her on May 12, 2012. Cueva was a trisikad driver that time.

The girl rode Cueva’s trisikad in going home from Canduman High School around 2 p.m. Before bringing the girl home, he picked up his friend Jaypee Aurelio, 19.

Instead of driving her to Barangay Cubacub, the two brought the girl to a grassy field in Casili, where they allegedly raped her. They fled after that.

Aurelio was arrested a month later.

Senior Insp. Romel Timtim Luga, chief of the Canduman Police Station, said they tracked down Cueva by browsing through the Facebook accounts of the young man’s family members.

On the friends’ list of Cueva’s brother, police officers saw a suspicious account bearing the user name Iyarb Ortsac.

They viewed the account’s wall and found Cueva’s pictures and some information about his location.

“We started monitoring him on Facebook three weeks ago,” Luga told reporters on Thursday.

Luga said the boy posted a selfie while he was at the Shrine of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, which features a life-size image of the Virgin Mary, in Bogo.

Officers from the Basak Police Station went to Bogo and planned the arrest with officers from the Bogo Police Station.

They went to Cueva’s boarding house but he was not there. A friend of his guided them to the internet cafe where the young man was using a computer.

“We received information he didn’t work there in Bogo but received money from his family. He also only came out of his boarding house at night,” Luga said.

Cueva, considered the most wanted person by the Canduman Police Station, is now detained at the Mandaue City Jail in Barangay Looc.

Just last week, Bantayan town’s most wanted, also a rape suspect, was arrested by policemen after several years of hiding.

Orwen “Tibor” Ilustrisimo, 27, was arrested in Barangay Suba, Bantayan last Saturday. He is facing a case for rape in relation to child abuse for an incident that happened in 2005. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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