Soldier’s rape of minor in Bukidnon slammed

Nov. 26, 2014

DAVAO CITY – Women groups condemned the rape of a minor married woman from Bukidnon that was allegedly perpetrated by a soldier of the 84th Infantry Battalion.

In a picket-rally at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters Tuesday, Cora Espinoza of the militant Gabriela Southern Mindanao recounted the ordeal of Girlie (not her real name), a 16-year old girl who was allegedly raped last November 17 at 1pm  in Maluos, Bukidnon.

According to Espinoza, the still unnamed suspect persistently wooed the victim despite being repeatedly rejected by Girlie who already has a partner and a son.

Espinoza said the soldier waited for the victim’s husband to leave the house before he attacked Girlie. The unnamed suspect “covered the victim’s face with a pillow, pushed away the victim’s son and proceeded to rape her,” Espinoza said.

Traumatized, the victim sought the help of local leaders who brought her to Gabriela for therapy and case filing.

For her part, Councilor Leah Librado-Yap, chairperson of the Davao City Committee on Women and Children told Davao Today that this kind of incident “is a challenge for us to push the government on its primary duty to protect and advance the rights and welfare of women and the people.”

She called for “the criminal accountability of the government” which is  “waging rigid military operations in the rural communities that displace mostly women and children.”

About 400 cases of Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) have been referred at her office, Librado said, of which 70% comprise cases of economic abuse against women.

“Our office is running a family mediation (service) wherein abandoned wives can seek assistance in demanding financial support from their husbands or partners,” Librado said.

Librado cited existing laws that “supposedly protect women” such as the Magna Carta for Women, Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against women and Children Act), and the Women Development Code.

Librado said, “our urgent need is to pressure the government to fully implement the laws that protect women. I believe that poverty is an aggravating factor that worsens the condition of every VAWC victim.”

Meanwhile, Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) scored the rise of rape and VAWC cases.

There are 5,180 rape cases in 2012  while for 2013, the rape cases rose to 6,432.

GWP Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said that “the incidence of violence is a result of injustice, impunity in violence against women.”

The commemoration of IDEVAW last November 25 was also the start of the 18-day campaign to end VAWC led by Gabriela Women’s Partylist and Gabriela.

GWP conducted in Manila a parade dubbed “Hakbang Para sa Hustisya (Walk for Justice)” which was also participated by showbiz personalities.

The campaign for the elimination of violence against women began in November 25, 1981 triggered by the rape-slay of three Dominican sisters from the Dominican Republic in 1960.

The United Nations Generally Assembly in 1999 formally designated the date as the International Day for the Elimination of Violation Against Women. (

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