By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA – A House measure raising the age of statutory rape from 12 to below 16 seems timely as rape cases continue to rise as gleaned from a new survey claiming that 19 percent of Pinays have actually experienced rape in the past two decades or so.
In the last survey, the rape rate in the Philippines was ten cases per 100,000 population and throughout the years the number has been growing, with an average annual rate of 19.08 percent since 2005.
Based on a new study of case reports from the Philippine National Police (PNP), it was found that one rape occurs every 72 hours while a larger number of women experienced some form of sexual violence or sexual harassment.
The study is the first report on the prevalence of sexual violence in the Philippines in 18 years.
A social worker said there appears to be an epidemic of sexual violence in the country that has becoming prevalent in recent times, particularly now with the ongoing health crisis brought by the coronavirus global pandemic.
Just a few days ago, a man who had allegedly raped and robbed seven massage therapists was arrested after a brief chase by the police from SM North EDSA in Quezon City to an undisclosed location in Pasay City.
Based on police investigation, suspect Marianito Santa Maria, 27, who uses the aliases Robertson Bautista and Jayson Mallari and is also known as a drug user, sought his victims by booking their services online.
Santa Maria was apprehended after a female complainant reported being robbed and raped by the suspect. The police quickly set up an entrapment operation and successfully nabbed Santa Maria while he was attempting to flee.
According to the police, Santa Maria hired the complainant for a ventosa massage session. The two both agreed to meet on November 30 inside an apartment on Yakal Street in Quezon City. When the masseuse asked for payment, Santa Maria turned her down, saying that he left his money inside his car that was borrowed by a cousin.
After the massage session, the victim demanded payment again, but instead, Santa Maria allegedly took out a knife and threatened to harm her. Santa Maria then stole the masseuse’s cash and cellphone, forced her to undress and abused her without mercy.
Six other massage therapists have come forward and said that the suspect also victimized them. (AI/MTVN)