More women and children were raped this year than last year, according to statistics from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
House Deputy Majority Leader Abigail Binay of Makati City (Metro Manila) said an average of 28 women and children were raped every day from January to September this year, an increase from 25 cases daily in 2013.
“At this high rate of increase, we’re afraid the aggregate number of rape cases for the entire 12 months of 2014 will likely top the 10,000-mark for the first time,” Binay noted in a statement on Sunday.
She said 7,785 rape cases were reported nationwide from January to September this year based on police blotters and records from barangay (villages) and other law enforcement agencies.
In 2013, a total of 9,177 rape cases were recorded nationwide.
“We are convinced the figures are still understated, considering that many rape victims still prefer to suffer in silence due to fear of humiliation or retaliation by their attackers,” according to Binay.
The lawmaker, a lawyer, pointed out the importance of greater police visibility especially at night when women are most vulnerable.
“We have to ascertain whether the mandate of the law, with respect to the establishment of at least one crisis center for rape victims in every city and province, has been fully complied with,” she said as she pushed for a congressional inquiry into the implementation of the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998.
Binay cited the need to reinforce the Women’s Desk in police stations to encourage victims to pursue complaints of rape, sexual harassment, domestic abuse and the like.
She scored Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, who has power over the PNP. Binay pointed to “lack of forceful action in fighting the growing number of brutal sexual attacks on women and children.”
“Some observers say the PNP under Secretary Roxas has by and large been remiss in suppressing violent crimes against persons and property. We need a new get-tough policy on crime,” she said, also pointing out that the PNP itself has drawn the ire of women’s groups for the alleged involvement of several male officers in rape cases.
Roxas and Rep. Binay’s father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, are expected contenders in the presidential elections in 2016.