1972: The rapists of Maggie dela Riva

59 comments May 17th, 2009 Headsman

On this date in 1972, Jaime Jose, Basilio Pineda and Edgardo Aquino were electrocuted* in Muntinlupa for the gang-rape of actress Maggie de la Riva (or dela Riva) five years before.

The rising young actress had scarcely wavered after the assault before courageously making the always-fraught rape charge against a quartet** of attackers themselves from elite families. (The particulars are recounted in the Supreme Court ruling.)


J’accuse! Maggie de la Riva identifies two of the culprits just five days after her gang rape. Talk about facing your accuser; according to the accompanying article, “the frail-looking mestiza was a picture of righteous indignation as she extended her arms, showed her bruises, and asked Pineda, pointedly: ‘Do you remember these?'”

The case was a media sensation from day one. The Philippine film blog Video 48 republished a three-part series on the rapists’ capture (parts 1 and 2) and execution (part 3), complete with the desperate efforts of the offenders’ families to save them.

The victim herself continued her acting career.

Decades later, she’s still a public personality, and seems to have made peace with and moved on from her famous ordeal with impressive equanimity.

When that misfortune happened to me, I realized that although my body was raped my true self was never defiled and that there’s another person in me that’s beautiful, strong and true. The old Maggie has faded away. I look at my experience as something that happened to someone else who is no longer the person I am today. (Source)

* The Philippines adopted use of the electric chair in the early 20th century from the U.S., its colonial ruler at the time. It’s the only country besides the United States to have used the chair.

** One of the four condemned to death for the rape, Rogelio Canial, died in prison of a drug overdose several months before the executions.

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Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Electrocuted,Execution,History,Notable for their Victims,Philippines,Popular Culture,Rape

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