Arraignment of couple in child’s death moved

THE ARRAIGNMENT of the couple accused in the death of their four-year-old son has been moved to Oct. 18.

Judge Ronald Tolentino of the Regional Trial Court Branch 52 in Davao City has ordered the victim’s mother, Grace Gilaga Agustin, and her live-in partner, Sonny Boy Rocabura Mendoza, to appear before the court on Oct. 18 for their arraignment in the case.

Agustin is charged for parricide and Mendoza is sued for murder for the death of four-year-old Kean Gabriel Agustin in Matina Pangi, Talomo District last August 24.

The arraignment was initially set on September 15, but it was cancelled because the respondents have no counsel.

The City Prosecution Office (CPO) indicted the couple after finding probable cause that they could have killed the boy.

Prosecutor Rogieliza Verallo said the mother was charged because she was present during the incident and did nothing to prevent her live-in partner in maltreating the boy.

The case was filed by Matina Pangi barangay chair Carmelo Arana and barangay councilor Eustaquio Sanico.

Arana and Sanico, in their affidavit, claimed that the respondents went to their office carrying the victim and asked for medical assistance claiming the child drowned in the river.

The barangay officials called 911. But due to the weak condition of the child, they decided to rush the child to the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

Based on the autopsy conducted by Dr. Danilo P. Ledesma, CHO medico-legal officer, the boy suffered severe hemorrhage secondary to head injuries.

Police investigation revealed that Mendoza forced the boy inside a sack and placed him on top of a shelf inside their room. The stepfather intentionally let the sack with the boy inside fall to the bamboo floor several times. The 22-year old Mendoza even sat on the boy.

The boy’s mother did not do anything to stop Mendoza even when the boy was repeatedly begging them to stop.

Mendoza claimed he was just trying to discipline Kean for being mischievous.

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