Watchmen assemble

-Barangay tanods tapped after series of rapes in the city

THE DAVAO City Police Office (DCPO) yesterday said they have reactivated the village watchmen following another sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl on Sunday night.

“We have strengthened the deployment of our personnel. We have focused on the deployment and conduct of mobile patrols in the interior areas of the city,  especially  those areas that are not mostly (visited) by the policemen,” Sr. Insp Maria Teresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of DCPO, told TIMES in an interview yesterday.

Gaspan said they have widened their advocacy campaign on the safety tips especially on the do’s and don’ts to teach women and children on how to protect themselves.

“The police can’t cover everything, especially the interior areas and residences,” she said. “We discussed with the Barangay Peace and Order Council on how to strengthen our security,” she added.

On Sunday night, a 27-year-old man was arrested after he was accused of raping a minor in Zone 4, Km. 13 in Sasa.

Last week, James Narte, 35, the suspect in the rape-slay of YanYan in Libby Road, Bago Gallera, was killed after he allegedly attacked two police officers in an attempt to grab a gun inside the Talomo Police Precinct on June 28.

Narte was also a suspect in the rape of a teenager last May 19 in a grassy portion somewhere in Sasa after the victim surfaced a day after his arrest. He was also charged with a sexual assault of a 46-year-old woman.

Advocacy campaign

Meanwhile, the DCPO has intensified its anti-rape campaign to teach women and teenagers on personal safety and awareness.

She said that most rape incidents happened inside houses and the perpetrators are immediate family members and relatives.

“That is why we urge the women and teenagers to be informed on the do’s and don’ts, especially that our policemen under the women’s desk have already programs on kinder cops,” she added.

She said part of the job of women’s desk policemen is to conduct lectures in schools to teach students on what to do to avoid being a victim, and also the next steps when they do become a victim by a family member.

Meanwhile, Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said that one of the problems is that victims are reluctant to report the crime because most of the incidents are incest rape.

“So the perpetrators are mostly fathers, uncles or brothers,” Driz said.

The Police Regional Office XI, through the Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk, has been actively campaigning to protect women and kids from abuse.

“For now, we have programs that are instilled in schools,” she said, adding that they are installing mechanisms to make it easier for victims to report rape and also for them to know what to do.