Sexual abuse victims told: Pursue case, never settle
Eighteen cases of rape have been recorded in the city from January to June this year.
The number, around 10 percent higher than the cases recorded for the same period last year, is comprised of victims aged 15 to 19 years old.
Around 70 percent are friends or acquaintances with the suspects and 30 percent are incestuous or are related to the suspects.
Lt/Col. Pablo Emmanuel Nead, Baguio City Police Office Investigation and Detection Management Unit chief, reported based on investigation, the crime mostly happened inside homes, where the victim or the suspect or both were intoxicated.
He said the incestuous cases involved either the uncle or cousin of the victim, happening when the victims’ parents had to leave for work and were left to the care of relatives.
While these incidents were reported to the police and appropriate charges were filed, Nead said administration of justice after doing their part gets frustrated in some instances when the rape victim and family settle the case with the suspect.
He said they often discover such amicable settlement between the parties when their office follows up on the case once filed in court.
“We do case tracking at least once a month. Nalalaman na lang namin na naareglo ang kaso dahil magkamag-anak. Wala na kaming magawa because after filing the case it’s beyond the control of the police, dahil sa korte sila nag-aareglo,” Nead said.
He said police efforts would be to no avail once the parties settle.
“Dapat iparamdam natin na may ngipin ang batas. Ayaw namin na magsasampa sila ng kaso tapos inaareglo, that is why we always coordinate with the prosecutor’s office to make sure the cases they filed are very strong, very tight,” he said.
With the higher number of rape cases this year, Nead appealed as much as possible for working parents not to leave their children under the care of relatives when they leave for work and instead make arrangements so that one of them stays at home to take care and monitor their children.
Parents should also limit time and instances of their children visiting or being visited by their friends at home to avoid opportunities for such incident. – Hanna C. Lacsamana