Women’s group hits anew army’s presence in communities

Apr. 21, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Militant women’s group, Gabriela here said that the encampment of military personnel in communities in Maco and Mabini, Compostela Valley Province makes women and children vulnerable to abuse and harassments.

Mary Ann Sapar, secretary general of Gabriela in Southern Mindanao cited the report from a humanitarian peace mission which investigated military encampment and human rights abuses in Compostela Valley Province.

“Setting up of camps in communities surrounded by civilian residents are illegal more so if the military have been intruding the houses of the residents,” Sapar said.

“This situation puts women and children to be more vulnerable to abuse and violations including sexual assaults and violence,” Sapar said citing the case of a military from the 84th Infantry Battalion in Kitaotao, Bukidnon, Pfc. Benjie Blancada, who was allegedly involved in the rape of a minor.  The suspect, Sapar said, remains at large.

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