LUCENA CITY—The number of rape cases is on the rise in Quezon province, ringing alarm bells among police and social welfare authorities.
According to the latest police data, the number of rape cases in the province was 182 in 2012. From January to May this year, the number has already reached 79 compared to only 67 during the same period last year.
Last month, police reported 13 rape cases in different parts of the province with women victims as old as 68 and as young as 9.
Two suspects arrested in May were aged 68 and 14.
“The rape cases are quite alarming,” said Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, acting Quezon police provincial director, in a forum here on Thursday.
A policeman privy to the records said some of the rape cases involved relatives.
“Some are incest. Other suspects are relatives of the victims,” the lawman, who requested anonymity for not being authorized to discuss the matter, told the Inquirer.
Carlos said the suspects were often under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the commission of the crime.
But he also attributed the rise in the number of cases to awareness due to a massive information and education campaign being run by the women’s desks of local police stations across the province.
“There were rape incidents that happened in the past. The victims were emboldened to report to the police after they learned from our campaign that they still have the right to file a complaint,” Carlos said.
Sonia Leyson, head of the Quezon social welfare office, also expressed alarm over the rise in the number of rape cases, even as she also believed that it could be partly attributed to the government’s information and awareness campaign that emboldened victims and their families to report to authorities.
Leyson said she would need to wait for reports from municipal social welfare officers to get a clearer picture, however.
Citing initial studies, Leyson said most rapes happen in remote areas where all members of the family share a house with no divisions or privacy.
“The daughters have no private space to dress and sleep. With that exposed condition, male family members under the influence of liquor or drugs can easily turn evil,” Leyson said.
The absence of an overseas working mother also sometimes pushes the father to turn to their daughters to satisfy their sexual desire, according to Leyson.
She also pointed to the proliferation of smut magazines or tabloids and pirated pornographic DVDs as factors in the rise in the number of rape cases.
She urged barangay officials to help in monitoring in their areas and immediately report cases to authorities.