SOME 898 rape cases have been recorded by the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-COR) from 2016 up to October 2019 with Benguet province having the most number of cases.
During the fourth quarter joint Cordillera Regional Development and Peace and Order Council (RDC-RPOC) meeting in Baguio City, PRO-COR operations officer Police Colonel Homer Penecilla reported that Benguet recorded the highest number of cases at 215, Apayao recorded the lowest at 52 cases in the last three years.
“The average monthly rape cases per province from the period 2016 to October 2019 shows Ifugao recording 1.82 rape incidents committed per 100,000 population per month, translating to about three incidents of rape per month in Ifugao,” Penecilla said.
On the gender of the victims, 90 percent are females, 10 percent were males with 333 victims having ages below 12 years old, 376 considered as minors at age 13-18, having a total of 709 minors of the 898 victims or about 80 percent minors.
“The categories of rape cases in relation to RA 7610 (child abuse) and statutory rape with victims below 12 years old, we recorded a total of 750 the 898 comprising 80 percent. Out of the 898 incidents, 700 plus were committed inside residential places or 78 percent, while the suspects physical and mental status at the time of the incident were found out that only 141 were under the influence of liquor, while no one tested positive for drugs,” the operations officer said.
The suspect’s relationship to the victims particularly in Ifugao and Mountain Province indicate the perpetrators are mostly related by family, partners and neighbors or acquaintances, while in other provinces most of the suspects have no relationship.
A total of 243 were recorded as family members, 22 are partners, 63 are neighbors, 74 acquaintances, while 488 having no relationship with the victims.
The breakdown of the 243 family members showed father, father-in-law, step father, and godfather showing a total of 79 cases, uncles were recorded with 71 while cousins recorded 51 cases.
“For the issues and concerns that we studied, there was a high percentage of minors as victims, second is sexual exploitation was due to probable lack of understanding and the culture of silence, and poverty and culture having a role in the cases of rape with regards to women and environment. We request the DepEd to educate students at schools on how to perceive a possible commission or victim of rape or sexual assault, and for DSWD to develop a program for young individuals to help learn more about the realities of sexual exploitation and the conduct of sexual awareness, daily activities and guidelines in handling disclosures and reporting sexual abuse cases in the communities, and for the LGU and DSWD to strengthen economic support for women and families, aside from strengthening leadership and opportunities for girls and some work place policies,” Penecilla added.