INCEST RAPES IN ILOILO SPIKE: Mayors told to take drastic measures

THE Iloilo provincial board asked municipal mayors to take action against rising rape cases in the province. (File)

By: Gerome Dalipe

MAYORS in Iloilo province have been urged to take radical measures to put an end to the rising cases of rape in the province.

This, after the Iloilo Provincial Police Office, informed the Provincial Board members that rape, especially incestuous rape, ranked second on the list of index crimes in the Province.

Provincial Board Member June Mondejar authored a resolution asking municipal mayors to take immediate actions to prevent the rising cases of rape within their jurisdiction.

Considered as a heinous crime in the Philippines, incestuous rape is a form of sexual abuse on a family member.

Under Republic Act 8353, or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is committed when a person has forced, threatened or intimidated a woman to have sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual assault.

In a data presented to the Provincial Board recently, Col. Marlon Tayaba, the outgoing Iloilo provincial police director, said physical injuries topped the list of index crimes in the province.

Index crimes are crimes against persons and property such as murder, homicide, physical injury, carnapping, cattle rustling, robbery, theft, and rape.

Without citing figures, Tayaba said that cases of rape followed physical injuries. Likewise, Iloilo is among provinces in the country with high numbers of reported rape cases.

Most cases are incestuous rape that happens inside the house with the suspects either being the stepfather, uncle, cousin, brother, or father of the victim, the police said.

Another reason for this case is that the mother is not staying or living in the house.

Tayaba said that coordination with the barangay health workers is one of the measures they are doing to help reduce or stop cases of incestuous rape.

In 2017, the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) reported that one woman or child is raped every hour in the Philippines.

Citing police records, the group said that there were 7,037 reported rape cases nationwide from January to October 2016.

Even husbands cannot force their wives to have sex with them.

The Supreme Court pointed this out in resolving the first marital rape case in the country that reached the high court.

The SC decision promulgated on April 21, 2014, affirmed the conviction of a man from Cagayan de Oro City for raping his wife in 1998.

“Husbands are once again reminded that marriage is not a license to forcibly rape their wives,” read the SC decision penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes.

Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama, Jr., and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno concurred in.

But what should the husband do if his wife refuses to have sex with him?

The justices reminded “aggrieved” husbands to seek relief before the Family Courts that can determine whether her refusal constitutes psychological incapacity justifying an annulment of the marriage.

“Sexual intimacy is an integral part of marriage because it is the spiritual and biological communion that achieves the marital purpose of procreation,” read the SC ruling.

The justices also warned “menacing personalities” not to use their recent as a tool to harass “innocent husbands.”

“In this regard, let it be stressed that safeguards in the criminal justice system are in place to spot and scrutinize fabricated or false marital rape complaints and any person who institutes untrue and malicious charges will be made answerable.”