30 January 2014
Inept action of authorities proliferate sexual predators says group calls for children and advocates to rise amidst violations
“The persons who committed these crimes are not humans!” This is how child rights group Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns described the recent reports of rape slay cases victimizing minors, citing the cases of Franchesca, 10, who was raped, murdered and hidden under a sidewalk water drainage in Naic, Cavite last Thursday; and a 6-year old girl who was also raped, slayed and left for dead near the Philippine National Railway (PNR) station in Paco, Manila last January 20.
“We are extremely bothered and enraged especially since the reported incidents are so incomprehensibly brutal and the age range of the victims is also getting much younger,” opined Kharlo Manano, Salinlahi Secretary-General. “The Aquino government’s inaction has helped perpetuate violence against children. The ineffectual state of our judicial system and the toothless enforcement of laws like Republic Act 7610 and Republic Act 9424 have contributed to the creation and proliferation of sexual predators and monsters,” expressed Manano. Citing data from the Center for Women’s Resources, a resource center on women and children’s issues, Manano said that one every two hours and four minutes or about 12 children per day are victims of rape and sexual harassment. According to Salinlahi, these reports, including recent news of children getting involved in cyber pornography and prostitution, have only underscored the Aquino government’s failure to address urgently and effectively the long-standing problem of sexual violence against children.Increased sexual violence among women and children especially in Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated communities have also been reported recently. Salinlahi said that the Aquino government’s neglect of Yolanda victims aggravated women and children’s vulnerability to rights violations.
This February, children and child rights advocates including Salinlahi, will join the One Billion Rising Campaign 2014 for Justice in the Philippines. There are activities in line to express the demand for justice for children victims of trafficking and prostitution especially after disasters. “Our unity through the One Billion Rising and through dance is just one way to express our rage and demand for real justice. More importantly, we need our voices to be heard,” added Manano. “Salinlahi is enjoining child rights advocates and children to consolidate our efforts and demand the Aquino government to seriously put an end to this growing trend of sexual violence against children,” ended Manano. ###