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One woman or child gets raped every 72 minutes in PHL —Gabriela

The Gabriela Women's Party is calling for an intensified fight against sexual assault as a woman or child in the Philippines gets raped every 72 minutes, based on the latest official data from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Gabriela Women's Party Representative Arlene Brosas issued the statement on Thursday, the eve of the International Women's Day 2019.

Citing PNP crime statistics, Brosas said there were 2,962 reported cases of rape from January to May 2018.

She said this figure could be higher victims usually do not report these incidents to the police.

“Despite the Duterte regime’s unrelenting campaign against drugs and criminals, rape statistics in the Philippines remains troubling, with one Filipina raped every 72 minutes, and thousands more sexually harassed especially in public places,” Brosas said in a statement.

"[President Rodrigo] Duterte’s macho-fascist remarks and consistent use of rape jokes, to the point of even exhorting soldiers to commit the crime, do not make this situation any better,” she added.

Apart from this, Brosas said men in uniform themselves are involved in sexual assault cases.

At least 56 policemen have been tagged in rape and sexual abuse cases of women and children since Duterte assumed position in June 2016.

With these figures, Brosas said her party-list would intensify its call for the passage of the bill strengthening the Anti-Rape Law.

The measure seeks to address special situations where the victim is unable to give consent due to mental or physical state, or when the perpetrator uses machinations to force rape.

At the same, the women's party-list would also mark the International Women's Day 2019 with a stronger call for the passage of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, which currently awaits Duterte's signature.

The measure covers gender-based violence in public spaces, online sexual harassment, and peer-to-peer offenses in the workplace and educational institutions. —LDF/ GMA News