Woman has ‘Stockholm syndrome’?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

THE woman allegedly detained by cult leader Casiano Apduhan is afflicted with Stockholm syndrome, the prosecution says.

Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Jasmine Despi told Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 in a hearing yesterday that Emma Bocabal is suffering from the psychological phenomenon that makes her feel sympathy toward her alleged captor.

But Bocabal, who took the witness stand, said Apduhan did not detain her. She went to his residence five years ago because of a personal problem.


“Akoang kagustuhan ang tanan (It was my decision),” she said.

RTC Branch 59 Judge Hermes Montero heard the motion for judicial determination of probable cause filed Apduhan’s lawyer, Danilo Yap.

Yap said there was no probable cause in arresting Apduhan for serious illegal detention because Bocabal was not forced to live in his client’s residence in Barangay Buanoy, Balamban.

He wants the court to dismiss the serious illegal detention case, which is non-bailable.

Last March, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 and Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) rescued Bocabal based on the search warrant issued by Montero.

Bocabal said she is close to the Apduhans and she considers them her family.

Bocabal smiled from time to time as she answered questions from Yap, Despi, and Montero. Some of her siblings were present during the hearing.

Apduhan and his wife held hands as Bocabal read her affidavit of denial of illegal detention.

“The truth of the matter being that I went voluntarily to the household of the Apduhans sometime in November 2008 to seek shelter, solace, and comfort,” said Bocabal.


She also denied being hurt by the Apduhans.

Despi said the prosecution will present a psychologist on Friday as their expert witness. Yap objected the presentation of the witness, saying the psychologist has not personally interviewed Bocabal.

Stockholm syndrome, according to a medical website, is a “complex reaction to a frightening situation and experts do not agree completely on all of its characteristic features or on the factors that make some people more susceptible than others to developing it.”

The term takes its name from a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1973. The robber took four employees of the bank into the vault with him and kept them hostage for 131 hours.

After the employees were released, they felt sympathy for their captor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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