Bacolod, central Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - An official of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Negros Occidental in central Philippines was arrested on Thursday after police rescued two teenage boys that the official allegedly tried to entice with drugs to have sex with him.
Joshua Santillana, 48, DepEd district supervisor assigned to Cadiz City, was detained at the Bacolod Police Station 3 to face child abuse charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two 16-year-old boys, both third year high school students.
Santillana denied he enticed the boys with drugs, saying he never used drugs. He said the boys went with him voluntarily.
He said in a TV interview here that he was in Barangay Banago here to collect payment for a debt that one of the boys owed him.
The boys, however, told police that Santillana took them to a house in Banago and there forced them to use shabu before sexually assaulting them.
The boys said they first met Santillana early this year at a burger store where Santillana offered to treat them.
The father of one of the boys called police for help after his son narrated how Santillana would bring the boys, their classmates and friends to Banago and another village, Barangay 2, to make them use drugs.
Supt. Santiago Rapiz, head of the Bacolod City police special operations group, formed a team to raid a house in Banago where Santillana took the boys to have drugs. The house was owned by a certain Rommel Navarra.
Police raided the house on Thursday and arrested Santillana and four other men-Rey Torrico, 27, of Cadiz City; Hans Cortez, 30, and Mark Himongala, 25, both of Silay City; and Osmar dela Fuente, 28, of Banago.
Seized during the raid were suspected shabu and tools for using the drugs.
Mildred Garay, DepEd director for Western Visayas, said she has ordered DepEd Division Superintendent Romel Bermejo in Cadiz City to investigate the case of Santillana.