THE mayor of Mataasnakahoy town in Batangas who is wanted for rape and human trafficking voluntarily gave himself up to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday morning.
Mayor Jay Manalo Ilagan arrived at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue in Manila at 5 a.m., saying he feared for his life with a warrant for his arrest issued by a judge in Ormoc City, Leyte.
He has been in hiding for more than a year.
He is accused of raping a 19-year-old woman sometime in 2013 at a pension house in Ormoc City.
It was alleged that Ilagan and the victim were in Ormoc City to set up a hair salon. The victim was an employee of a hair salon based in Quezon City.
Ilagan denied the accusation, saying he was officiating a wedding at their town hall the day the alleged rape took place.
He added he is now ready to face the charges against him.
Ilagan said a drug syndicate and his enemies have joined forces to destroy his name because he was opposing the entry of illegal drugs into their small town, which has a population of less than 28,000.
Ilagan became mayor in 2013 and is seeking reelection in May 2016.
NBI National Capital Region Director Atty. Max Salvador said Ilagan will be turned over to the Ormoc City court where charges have been filed against him.