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Councilor pushes for multi-agency effort amid high rape cases

A lawmaker is pushing for a multi-committee meeting to tackle the high incidence of rape cases in Davao City.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the committee on health, expressed her concern on the report that Davao City leads the country in the number of rape cases.

With this, she’s asking for a joint public hearing with the committee on women and children, committee on peace and order and public safety, and the committee on education, as well as the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.

Based on the record of the PNP, the city registered 42 rape cases, which topped the country for the second half of 2018.

It is higher than the cities of Quezon (41) and Manila (32), both in the National Capital Region, and two other prime cities in Mindanao–Cagayan de Oro (24) and Zamboanga (21).

In the report that Villafuerte gathered from Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson, Chief Insp. Ma. Theresita Gaspan, the Talomo Police Precinct registered the highest number of rape cases. This is followed by the Toril Police Precinct.

From the DCPO report, children and minors are the primary victims and crimes committed are usually “within the confines of homes and perpetrators are relatives, usually under the influence of alcohol.”

She furthered that the incest rape is “a silent unspeakable secret of Filipino Families” but should no longer remain secret.

“This is very unique because this is incest rape, any sort of police action right now is not enough because incest goes on inside the homes,” Villafuerte added.

The recent report of the DCPO showed of the 95 rape offenders, 60 are relatives or acquaintance of the victims.

Villafuerte also suggested that the high incidence of rape might also be attributed to the more efficient reporting of sexual abuse cases.

“As the Most Child-Friendly City in the Country, we must do more than just report these incidences of sexual abuse. We must institute protective and preventive measures,” Villafuerte said. With reports from Rhoda Grace  B. Saron

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