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Senior Superintendent Cesario Darantinao is facing two more sexual harassment complaints and a rape case before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan

MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found Senior Superintendent Cesario Darantinao, former director of the Philippine National Police in Davao del Sur, “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of sexually harassing a female subordinate 5 years ago.

In its decision, the court’s 5th division said Darantinao abused his position by demanding sexual favors from the complainant, who held the rank of PO3. This created an intimidating, hostile, and offensive environment for the junior officer.

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A conviction under Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law is punishable by imprisonment or fine or both, at the discretion of the court.

However, the Sandiganbayan ordered Darantinao to pay the complainant P20,000. It noted that the provincial police director did not use force, threat, or retaliatory action on the victim even after she had filed a criminal complaint.

The ruling was written by Associate Justice Roland Jurado, who chairs the 5th division chairman. Associate justices Alexander Gesmundo and Maria Theresa Dolores Gomez Estoesta concurred.

The complainant said Darantinao, on several occasions, embraced her, tried to steal kisses, and asked her to sleep with him in his quarters.

She said the defendant compelled her to go with him to a bar in Digos City in April 2008, where he pulled her close and whispered lewd things to her when he was already drunk.

On their way home in car, she said, Darantinao placed his hand of her lap and took her hand, not minding the other male policeman who was with them.

When they were back at the PNP provincial office, the victim said Darantinao tried to embrace and kiss her, and asked her to “sleep with him at his quarters.” Even when she refused, she said, Darantinao offered her money.

“Accused’s insistence for complainant to attend (the party), his offer of financial assistance… his request for complainant not to leave best demonstrates the exercise of accused’s power over complainant, and, obviously done in pursuance of his ultimate goal of obtaining sexual favors from complainant,” the court said.

Sandiganbayan records show that two other female police officers – who held the ranks of PO3 and PO1 – have also filed sexual harassment complaints against Darantinao.

Darantinao is also facing allegations of rape, filed by the wife of a former subordinate officer. It is pending with the Sandiganbayan’s first division. – Rappler.com

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