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GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – A town legislator in South Cotabato who was arrested and detained for half a year because of rape and sexual assault cases is now a free man.
Councilor June Seneca is now back to work at the Tantangan municipal council, about six months after his arrest and detention.
Seneca, a popular political figure in Tantangan, won a reelection in the last elections and is currently serving his last term as a town councilor. He also completed three terms as barangay chairman of Poblacion, Tantangan.
Tantangan Vice Mayor Cesar Dasilao confirmed that a court has dismissed the two criminal cases for rape and sexual assault against the councilor.
The reason for the dismissal of the cases is unclear as of this posting.
Dasilao told local broadcaster Topgun Radio-Koronadal that Seneca has been attending the Sangguniang Bayan’s sessions since September 18.
In January, Judge Vicente Peña of the Regional Trial Court Branch 45 in Surallah town, South Cotabato issued a warrant of arrest against the then 60-year-old Seneca.
Police, however, could not locate the town official, who they believed had gone into hiding. He was subsequently arrested on March 10 at Bria Homes Subdivision, Barangay San Isidro, in General Santos City.
The cases stemmed from a complaint filed by a minor who happened to be one of the councilor’s scholars.
With his cases dismissed, Seneca is entitled to some back pay from the government. Due to his absence from regular sessions, special sessions, and other legislative activities of the Tantangan town council since January 16, Seneca’s salaries and other benefits were put on hold. – Rappler.com