News Release – March 31, 2012
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Spokesperson, 09175003879
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580
Arrest and jail rapists in the AFP– Tanggol Bayi-Karapatan
“That Capt. Danilo Lalin of the 50th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army was simply ‘relieved from duties’ is a pathetic response from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) considering the damage he wrought on the life of Isabel, the 16-year old rape victim in Mankayan, Benguet. This is not the first time that members of the AFP have committed such heinous crime against women and minors,” said Cristina Palabay, spokesperson of Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi (association of women human rights defenders).
According to Palabay, Karapatan received at least three reported cases of rape in the last six months, all involving AFP personnel. “Military rape has been committed under Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya and it continues under P-Noy’s Oplan Bayanihan. There are other known incidents but are not yet documented because the victims fear for their lives, aside from the humiliation that goes with it. Others were threatened or offered bribes to silence them. Still other victims have reportedly experienced trauma and psychological distress because of the experience,” added Palabay.
Palabay said that, “sexual violence such as military rape is used to humiliate, silence and terrorize not only the women victims but the whole community as well. Women and children are thus made more vulnerable by the presence and operations of the military in their communities.”
“Rape of women and minors is proof that the military’s presence in the communities endangers the lives and rights of the people. Like other rights violation, rape happens when the military impose and flaunt their supremacy over the civilians. Rape is one of the military’s atrocious acts against women and the people. It is in the military’s arsenal of tactics to terrorize the people in the communities even as the P-Noy government boasts of a ‘people-oriented’ Oplan Bayanihan,” concluded Palabay. ###