ASIDE from the reported looting that took place in several areas severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, crimes against women and children including rape are reportedly on the rise, a lawmaker disclosed on Friday.
Senator Nancy Binay said that she received reports of rape and other crimes committed against women and children in areas ravaged by the typhoon but she did not provide details as to the exact areas as well and the number of incidents that have been reported to her.
“This is very alarming and I express my grave concern over the apparent breakdown of moral values and civic order,” she said.
While she acknowledged the efforts being exerted by the military and police in restoring peace and order in the province of Leyte and other areas crippled by the typhoon, Binay noted that authorities should provide more protection to the most vulnerable members of society.
The neophyte senator said that based on previous experience in the country and around the world, women and children are among those vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, especially in times of disaster. For this reason, more attention should be given them.
“Aside from ensuring that survivors of the disaster get basic necessities such as food and shelter, the national government should also safeguard the rights of women and children,” she said.
Binay said authorities should augment the forces on the ground, especially at night when lawless elements usually carry out their activities.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed that the situation in the typhoon affected areas including Tacloban City, where the incidents of looting were reported, are now under control following the deployment of police forces in the area.
At least 600 police officers were deployed in Tacloban to restore the peace and order in the area since Wednesday. In Ormoc, the PNP detailed 85 personnel, 60 in Eastern Samar, and 58 in Capiz.
There were also forces deployed in both ends of the San Juanico bridge to secure the relief operations in the area.