Man suspected of raping 6-year-old girl dies of epileptic seizure

A SUSPECT in the rape of a 6-year-old girl died on Sunday afternoon after he suffered an epileptic seizure while undergoing inquest proceedings at the Manila City Hall.

Gerardo Argota Jr., 45, a car wash employee, was declared dead on arrival at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

According to the report of Senior Insp. Robert Casimiro Domingo, station commander of the Manila Police District's Sta. Ana police station, members of the Punta Police Community Precinct took Argota to City Hall for inquest proceedings around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

As he was being presented to Prosecutor Ma. Josefina Concepcion, Argota suffered a seizure, prompting the former to order policemen to take him to the nearest hospital.

However, Dr. Marjorie Launico of the PGH trauma division-emergency room pronounced him dead at 3:05 p.m.

Relatives of Argota who were immediately informed by the police about his death confirmed that he had epilepsy.

Argota was arrested around 5 p.m. Saturday after a barangay councilor, Romeo Concepcion of Barangay 902, caught him raping the 6- year-old girl in the tenement building where the suspect lived.

The victim, assisted by her mother, told police investigators that she was playing near the building on F. Manalo Street, Punta in Sta. Ana, when Argota dragged her inside, took her to the roof and raped her.

The police have requested that the suspect undergo an autopsy to determine his exact cause of death. A copy of the autopsy report will also be given to his family, investigators said.