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IN MY EYES: Rape capital of Asia?

Edward B. Antonio

A big controversy which rocked the media world recently in Ilocos Sur is the suicide of a 17-year old girl whose suicide note indicated that his step father (although not yet legally married with her mother) raped him at 15 and is the father of her child. She hanged herself.

The story got a lot of twist when the mother arrived home from Italy to see her child (with her first husband) dead. From the suicide note, the dead girl partly blamed her mother for not listening to her when she reported the matter.

Three years ago, after a lecture on sexual harassment, a 16-year-old girl cornered me and talked about his grandfather who always cuddled her on his lap everytime she arrived home from school.

Aside from that, what else is he doing?” I asked.

He would cup and fondle my breasts, too,” she said.

I was shocked. The girl was from Cagayan who only came to Ilocos to study, together with his two brothers. It was March and graduation was approaching.

I advised him to refrain from going home if his grandpa would be the only one there. She should wait for his brothers to arrive.

Don’t get near your grandpa; be with your brothers all the time. After graduation, go back to Cagayan before your evil grandpa rapes you and gets you pregnant,” I said.

I referred, too, her case with the school’s guidance counselor who gave her a sound advice and since then, the girl has gone back to Cagayan. The last time I heard, she is now studying in college and already has a boyfriend.

I am always positive many of those high school girls currently enrolled are being victimized or raped by their stepfather, or father, grandfather, uncle or neighbor.

Marami po,” was the answer of another school guidance counselor. “In fact, I referred already some of these child victims to the DSWD for proper action.”

Then she told me of the story of a girl from a nearby province who transferred to her school because her stepfather had been attempting to rape her several times.

She transferred here because of those attempts. I told her to stay here for good, but she did not listen. She returned there until her stepfather succeeded in raping her. She came back here, but she was already raped 3 times,” she said.

She said she referred the matter again to the DSWD who facilitated the filing of rape charges to the girl’s stepfather.

I am very sure there are lots of school girls there who are victims or are being sexually harassed or raped to these days, but they are just ashamed or afraid to come out in the open,” she said.

Just how serious is the rape of women and children in our country, fellas?

CNN Philippines reports that in the Philippines, one woman or child is raped every hour. This is based on police records, as cited by the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), which showed that from January to October last year, there were 7,037 reported rape cases nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported 4,605 cases of rape, acts of lasciviousness, attempted and incestuous rape in 2016, for women only. The study also found that victims are getting younger and the numbers are rising. Based on CWR’s estimate, the number of recorded rape cases increased by 92 percent from 5,132 in 2010 to 9,875 in 2014.

The usual victims were children and indigenous women. Among these cases were that of a 21-year-old woman in Aroroy, Masbate in 2010, the case of two teenage girls from Mankayan, Benguet in 2012, and the case of a young Lumad from Talaingod, Davao in 2015.

From 2010 to 2015, Quezon City topped the most number of reported rape cases with 1,122. Ironically, President Duterte’s Davao City ranked second with 843. The rest in the Top 15 lists were: Manila City (746), Zamboanga City (574), Bacolod City (444), Cagayan de Oro City (367), Angeles City (364), General Santos City (356), Cebu City (272), Baguio City (253), Lapu-Lapu City (248), Puerto Princesa City (247), Iloilo City (188), Naga City (178) and Mandaluyong City (172).

India is known for controversial cases of rape, too, but compared to the Philippines, its rape stat is nuts. Based on a country-info gathered by Nationmaster, India has only 1.8 cases of rape per 100,000 population while the Philippines registers a 6.3 average rape per 100,000 and that’s 4 times more than India.

And here’s another very alarming report from Wikipedia: “Research studies conducted in schools show that for every 3 Filipino children, one child experiences abuse. During the first semester of 1999 alone, there were 2,393 children who fell prey to rape, attempted rape, incest, acts of lasciviousness and prostitution.”

Many rape victims in the country are teenagers who are murdered by their rapist/s after the act. There are also babies raped by insane predators!

In the 70’s and 80’s, the Philippines was branded as “The Sick Man of Asia.”

In the 80’s and 90’s, the Filipina is defined in an English dictionary as “domestic helper.”

In the last decade, RP was also branded as one, if not, the most corrupt country in Asia.

I don’t like to brand RP as becoming the “rape capital” of Asia, but it seems we are going there.

RP as the “Rape Capital of Asia,” anyone?#