Mayor miffed

- Sara to critics: What have you done to help us?

Mayor Sara Duterte fired back at critics, especially those who attacked the President in his recent joke on the PNP report about Davao City’s rising rape cases.

“What have you done about it to help us because here in the city, we are doing something about it,” said the mayor in an interview during the commemoration of the Roxas bombing incident last Saturday.

“What the concerted efforts of all the government offices are doing should not be lost in the jokes, in the attacks of those who hate the President, who hate his guts, who hate his humor,” the mayor said.

“I wish to no longer speak about the Philippine National Police data because it was documented. Last year, the City Peace and Order Council was opened to the media and to the public, so they know that it was taken up last year,” Duterte said.

She said that based on their monitoring, there was a reduction from the 120 cases in the first six months of 2017 to 95 for the same period this year.

Duterte also mentioned that the Davao City Police Office is doing something about the cases through their Children and Women Protection Desk. Meanwhile, the Integrated Gender and Development Office and the City Social Services and Development Office are also working together to help the abused women.

“They have done lots of mechanisms. Very recently, during my term, we have put up the Kean Gabriel hotline which is the hotline to report anonymously because people are hesitant to report because they don’t want to be thought of as intruding into their neighbor’s businesses,” she said.

“We also have targeted activities for communities and then we explain to the children in a dialogue the right ‘touch’ of a relative,” the Mayor furthered.

She said it was during this discussion that authorities discovered that many of the rape cases were “incestuous” or perpetrated by a family member, as well as by people personally close to the victim, such as friends and neighbors.

She also underlined the immediate response of the city government through the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO), which conducted a research on the matter and implemented corresponding programs to address these types of sex crimes.

“These interventions spearheaded by the CSSDO resulted in a significant drop in the incidence of rape cases from 120 in 2017 to 95 in 2018, both in the same period of January to June as reported by DCPO (Davao City Police Office) City Director Alexander Tagum, citing the rape data of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) Investigation and Detection Management Board (IDMB),” the Mayor pointed out.

Records obtained by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) from DCPO showed that for the 95 rape cases in the past six months, 33 offenders have no relation to the victim, two were strangers, seven were fathers, seven were stepfathers, four grandfathers, 10 uncles, four were boyfriends, six cousins, six friends, two were brothers, one co-worker, and 13 neighbors or acquaintances.

Earlier, members of the Davao City Council called on government agencies to further strengthen the local government’s family values programs.

In a resolution passed early this week, the legislative body also called for the creation of the Children and Women Concerns Unit in health centers and hospitals.

Councilor Joselle Villafuerte described the alarming cases of rape as “disturbing,” noting that these happened inside the homes of the victims and involved their own family members.

Villafuerte said the high number was due to efficient reporting of sexual abuse cases in the city.

Incest should not continue to be an “unspeakable secret,” she said, pointing out that this could result in serious mental health issues and may even lead to suicide. (With reports from PNA)

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