An Army colonel has been found guilty by the Sandiganbayan of sexually harassing an 18-year-old friend of his daughter whom he hired as his part-time secretary in 2011.
In a 17-page decision, the Sandiganbayan Second Division found Col. Noel Miano guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Republic Act 7870 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995).
The anti-graft court sentenced Miano to six months in prison and pay a P20,000 fine.
“As an officer and a gentleman, the accused was expected to accord courtesy and respect to everyone, even to a person young in years as the complainant who, to aggravate the situation, was even his daughter’s classmate,” the Sandiganbayan said in a decision penned by Chairperson Teresita Diaz-Baldos and concurred in by Associate Justices Napoleon Inoturan and Michael Frederick Musngi.
“He, however, failed to observe such basic norms and gave in to his worldly yearnings,” the anti-graft court lamented.
The Sandiganbayan pointed out that “the positive statements given by the complainant far outweigh the denial made by the accused.”
“The consistency, straightforwardness, and credibility of the complainant’s statements are highlighted more when juxtaposed to the defense of denial of the accused,” it said.
Court records showed that Miano, who was then the commanding officer of the Munition Control Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, approached the complainant to work as his part-time secretary and even picked her up at the gates of the camp on the way to his office.
On March 18, 2011, the complainant accompanied Miano to Lucena City for a conference at the Southern Luzon Command in Camp Nakar.
While in Lucena, they went to the Pacific Mall and, while aboard his car at the parking lot, Miano kissed the complainant’s nape and caressed and touched her legs and breast.
Miano continued to harass the complainant when they went inside the mall to register for a fun run and when they returned to the car.
When they went to SM Mall Lucena, the complainant volunteered to pick up his daughter who was hanging around the mall but never went back to the car.
“There is no gainsaying that the offensive behavior exhibited by the accused towards the complainant has resulted in an intimidating and hostile environment for her that compelled her to escape from his control at the first opportunity to do so, no longer being concerned about losing her work, but merely ensuring that she was safely beyond his reach,” the Sandiganbayan said. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)