Philippine Commission on Women pushes for amendment of Anti-Rape Law

admin   •   March 9, 2017   •   8515

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-eight (28) women experience sexual assault every day, according to the data of the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The data is based on the report of the Philippine National Police which shows an increase in the number of rape cases from the 4,700 in 2012 to 10,000 in 2015.

This prompted the Philippine Commission on Women or PCW to push for the amendment of the Anti-Rape Law.

In particular, the group wants rape to be also defined as a case of lack of consent.

PCW Executive Director Emmeline Versoza said, “We’ve seen a lot of cases of date rape, where the rapist have become — have been acquitted… so the definition would be, if the girl says “no”, that should be enough, and there should be no need to determine if the victim struggled because usually when that happens, the women just freeze and just don’t know what to do. So that should be the center of rape.”

The group also calls on Congress to impose heavier punishment on sexual assault of minors.

Versoza added, “The rapist gets higher penalties if he rapes a 12 year old. But if he rapes a 15 year old, he should be also getting a higher penalty because below 16 is still a child…so we want to raise the age of discernment. ”

Meanwhile, the PWC noted that women’s group are in favor of imposing reclusion perpetua to those found guilty of rape.

However, the group has yet to release its stand on the reimposition of death penalty on rape cases.

PCW Chairperson Dr. Rhodora Masilang-Bucoy said, “But as of now, among the — among the women’s groups, there are still that the best punishment would be reclusion perpetua. So, whoever the person that committed rape will suffer instead of immediately snapping back.” — Rosalie Coz|UNTV News and Rescue

Senate Committees approve proposal to increase statutory rape age to 16

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 1, 2020

The Senate Committees have approved the proposal to increase the statutory rape age to 16.

The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality approved the proposed measure on Thursday (October 10). Aside from the increase in the statutory rape age, the age for sexual consent was also raised from 12 to 16.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, one of the authors of the bill, said it is time to amend the law especially due to the increase of sexual violence cases among children.

“As legislators, we need to ensure that our children are protected and that we set measures that will mitigate if not totally eradicate these alarming cases and statistics on sexual violence against children and teenage pregnancies,” Zubiri said.

The Philippines currently has the age of sexual consent at 12 which is the lowest in Asia and among the lowest in the world. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Bato, Pacquiao support reimposition of death penalty for heinous crimes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 30, 2020

Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Manny Pacquiao reiterated their support for the reimposition of death penalty for heinous crimes.

During Senate’s regular session on Wednesday (July 29), Pacquiao said reinstating death penalty in the country will not be illegal in the eyes of God.

The Senator previously filed a bill that would impose death penalty on heinous crimes which include manufacturing and trafficking dangerous drugs.

Hindi po labag sa mata ng gobyerno, sa mata ng Panginoon. Dahil biblically po, allowed po ang gobyerno (It is not illegal in the eyes of the government, in the eyes of the Lord. Because, biblically, the government is allowed to do so) the authority, which is established by God to impose heinous crimes especially death penalty,” Pacquiao said.

Meanwhile, during his privilege speech, Dela Rosa reiterated that reimposing death penalty would be the solution in stopping drug lords and the continuing drug activities inside detention facilities.

The Senator also noted that crime rate has dropped when death penalty was imposed in 1993. He also said that the drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic which should also be prioritized.

“It is also considered a global pandemic itong drug problem. So, hindi naman siguro ibig sabihin na porke tayo may kinakaharap na global pandemic na COVID-19, hihinto na lang tayo sa paggawa ng ibang batas para sa ibang mga issues na kinakaharap ng ating lipunan (This drug problem is also considered as a global pandemic. Just because we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean we would stop making laws for other issues faced by society),” he said.

Dela Rosa was appointed as a member of a Senate panel under the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian relinquished his seat.

The said Senate panel will vote on bills including the reimposition of death penalty in the country. However, panel chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the bill should be discussed at the proper time.

“I will not sponsor it because I do not believe in it. We will take it up at the proper time,” he said. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Vatican officials to visit Mexico to probe alleged sexual abuse cases involving clergies

UNTV News   •   March 4, 2020

Two Vatican officials charged with investigating accusations of sexual abuse by clergy will visit Mexico for a fact-finding mission later this month, the Church said on Tuesday (March 3).

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu will meet with church leaders and alleged victims during their week-long visit to the world’s second largest Roman Catholic country, the Mexican bishops’ conference said.

Auxiliary Bishop Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, general secretary of the bishops’ conference, told a news conference in Mexico City that the Church had requested aid from the Vatican in order to help the youngest and most vulnerable in Mexico.

Scicluna and Bertomeu are part of a taskforce created last year by Pope Francis to assist in countries where the Church had no guidance for dealing with sexual abuse cases. The two led the Vatican’s 2018 investigation into sexual abuse in Chile, producing a 2,300-page report that sparked the resignation of several of the country’s top bishops.

Scicluna also conducted the Vatican’s investigation into Father Marcial Maciel, the late founder of Mexico’s Legionaries of Christ Catholic religious order. Maciel was accused of sexually abusing at least 60 boys, some as young as 12.

Allegations of pedophilia have long plagued the Church in Mexico. Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera Lopez, President of the Mexican bishops conference, said 271 Mexican priests have been accused of sexual abuse to date.

The bishops’ conference said it does not have an estimate of the number of victims. Advocates say there are many more victims than those who have come forward with accusations. (Reuters Connect)

(Production: Carlos Carrillo, Paul Vieira)

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