DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A woman or a child gets raped every 72 minutes last year in the Philippines, a trend that progressive women groups have blamed on President Rodrigo Duterte’s “misogynistic statements”.
“Despite the Duterte regime’s unrelenting campaign against drugs and criminals, rape statistics in the Philippines remains troubling, with one Filipina raped every 72 minutes, and thousands more sexually harassed especially in public places,” said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.
She said the trend was “around 20 cases of rape being reported every day”
Brosas cited the crime statistics by the Philippine National Police Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management for the first five months of 2018.
According to the report, a total of 2,962 reported rape cases were recorded by police offices nationwide from January to May last year.
Central Luzon topped the list with 416 cases followed by the National Capital Region and Calabarzon (or Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), with 380 cases each, Third was Central Visayas with 243 cases, fourth was Bicol Region with 180 cases, and fifth was Davao Region with 168 cases.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in in the lowest rung, with 15 reported cases of rape.
Brosas said the figure might be higher since victims of rape do not normally report to the police.
Brosas noted that “men in uniform were involved in sexual assault cases, with at least 56 policemen tagged in rape and sexual abuses of women and children since Duterte assumed the presidency”.
Gabriela led a nationwide protest on Friday, March 8, to commemorate the International Women’s Day.
“Duterte’s macho-fascist remarks and consistent use of rape jokes, to the point of even exhorting soldiers to commit the crime, do not make this situation any better,” the lawmaker added.
Duterte in 2018 made a joke suggesting that rape is unavoidable as long as there were beautiful women and last year he bared that he indecently “touched” a maid.
Gabriela Women’s Party has pushed a bill strengthening the Anti-Rape Law to address special situations wherein the victim is unable to give consent due to her mental or physical state, or when the perpetrator uses machinations to force the sexual act.
Brosas also said that they are calling for the passage of the Anti-sexual Harassment Law Amendments which awaits for the President’s signature.
“The measure will cover gender-based violence in public places, online sexual harassment, and peer-to-peer offenses in the workplace and academic institutions,” she added. (davaotoday.com)