Gabriela-SMR slams dismissal of minor’s rape case

Jan. 13, 2008

Davao City– Gabriela today lambasted the dismissal of the rape case filed by 16-year old “Emily” against six men in July last year.

In a resolution filed last January 4, the Office of the City Prosecution dismissed the case “for lack of probable cause that the crime of rape has been committed.”

Evelyn Carias, national council member of the militant women’s group, said that the dismissal is a serious blow against all women struggling for justice and equality.

The resolution dwelled on the grounds that the complaint had serious flaws regarding the crime. It described “Emily’s” complaint as only consistent in the “absence of any allegation of sexual intercourse.” The resolution also gave reference to “Emily” as a loose woman and ascribed her as one who cannot be a “credible witness.”

“If having inconsistent answers to questions or vague descriptions of the perpetrators are tantamount to dismissal of rape cases, then woe to all rape victims who are experiencing distraught due the vileness of the crime done to them. ‘Emily’ is not the first and will never be the only victim of rape who has and will have trouble recounting the crime in court. Who can blame ‘Emily,’ who has been through the humiliation and trauma of being sexually-abused, of making mistakes in her testimonies?,” Carias said.

She asserted that a more thorough investigation should be conducted so that justice will be rightly served. “The dismissal will render a harrowing warning to all rape victims who are still afraid to come forward for fear of being ridiculed and ostracized.”

Carias slammed what she called “a patriarchal justice system” that oppresses women because they are women. “We are distraught with how the justice system has treated the victim. Unless there is a serious change in a system that favors power and money over justice, women will forever be affronted with impunity that is gender-biased.”

The rape incident happened in Opal Street in Marfori Heights Subdivision on July 13, 2007.#

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