June 23, 2024

A victim of sexual abuse for five years heaved a sigh of relief after her abuser was arrested and charged with rape and child abuse cases.

Newly elected Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, in a press statement, said the victim is one of those they have recently assisted together with the Benguet Police Provincial Office. 

The suspect, considered as one of the 10 most wanted persons in Benguet, was arrested on May 15 in Kias, Baguio City by virtue of a warrant of arrest for violation of Republic Acts 8353 and 7610, which outlaw rape and child abuse.

In the police report, the victim is one of the suspect’s foster children whom he sexually abused from 2014 to 2019.

Yap said the victim approached him and shared her ordeal when they were engaging some residents in Loacan, Itogon, Benguet on April 18.

The solon coordinated with BPPO Director Col. Reynaldo Pasiwen who ordered the Itogon police to conduct an investigation leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Yap will provide free legal, medical, education, and livelihood assistance to the victim.    

Earlier this month, a rape suspect was also arrested after a mother and child sought the help of Yap for legal assistance.

In February this year, Yap assisted the family of the 10-year-old rape slay victim in Itogon. He handed financial assistance to the parents of the victim and paid for the funeral expenses of the victim.

The 40-year-old suspect, who was a neighbor of the victim in the mining town, is now in jail and waiting for trial for murder and rape charges.  

The Women and Children Protection Center-Cordillera said there are 220 cases of rape reported in 2020 and 208 cases in 2021 involving women and children in the region.

Earlier, Yap said they plan to construct a halfway house for sexually-abused women and children in the province. 

Aside from temporary housing, the facility would offer free psychological assessment and other interventions needed for the victims to overcome their trauma and be able to live normal lives. – Ofelia C. Empian