Freddie Aguilar charged with child abuse
MANILA, Philippines—Saying he wanted to teach music icon Freddie Aguilar a lesson, a lawyer on Monday amended his complaint against the 60-year-old folk singer who recently wed his 16-year-old girlfriend from qualified seduction to child abuse.
The seven-page amended complaint against Aguilar which was submitted to Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor Edgardo Saplala also charged the girl’s parents with corruption of a minor since they allowed her to be exploited by a “predator.”
The original complaint against Aguilar was filed by lawyer Fernando Perito last month. This time, he was joined by two other complainants, Peter Sesbreño and Christine Joy Bangalisan. They all listed their address as 31 Ibay St., Quezon City.
According to Perito, they wanted to “educate” Aguilar on the “legalities [of] child abuse and corruption of minors” as well as to remind the singer that he should “behave responsibly in society and obey our laws on children and women.”
The complainants said the musician should be held criminally liable under Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act for his relationship with the girl who was 44 years his junior.
They claimed that he took advantage of his popularity to influence the minor and “exploit” her innocence, adding that the couple’s admission that they were living under one roof meant that she was exposed to sexual abuse.
At the same time, the “parents of the minor… are liable for violation of Article 340 (of the Revised Penal Code) for corruption of a minor…. They were also willing to have their child groped by her predator…; they are corrupting their own child,” they added.
However, they stressed that the complaint was not aimed at “personally castigating” Aguilar but to discourage would-be violators and “let everyone respect the laws [on] children and women.”
Aguilar has yet to attend a preliminary investigation hearing scheduled by the prosecutor’s office on the qualified seduction charge. The second hearing was set yesterday but this was reset to Dec. 9 with the prosecutor saying that should the singer fail to appear, the complaint would be considered submitted for resolution.
“We are already married. What is that guy’s problem anyway?” Aguilar said when reached by the Inquirer yesterday.
“The country has so many other problems so why focus on me? That person is pitiful. It seems he has nothing else to do,” he added.
Aguilar said that Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu could attest to his marriage on Friday to his teenage girlfriend. The couple had to convert to Islam in order to get married with the ceremony held in Buluan, Maguindanao. Mangudadatu acted as the girl’s godfather and gave her away.
Aguilar added that he had been advised by his lawyer against attending the preliminary investigation of the case filed against him. He also said that nobody received the subpoena from the city prosecutor’s office and his lawyer was not provided a copy of the complaint either.
“Why should I attend when I do not even know the specifics of that lawyer’s charge against me?” he said.
Last year, Perito asked the Senate impeachment court to cite House members who acted as prosecutors against then Chief Justice Corona, for contempt for presenting their evidence before the trial to media. The complaint was set aside.
In 2011, he asked the Supreme Court to disbar Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte after she punched a court sheriff.