“Soldiers do not only kill, they rape children, too,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said on the 5th day of countdown to December 10, International Human Rights Day. “Amid the rising political killings under the BS Aquino regime, 10 women have been raped by state forces; and seven of them are minors,” Palabay said.
“Soldiers and members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) undressed girls, as young as 12 years old, and raped them. None of the perpetrators of the documented rape cases have been arrested or brought to jail,” she added.
Valeriano Masaang Jr, a.k.a “Striker” an assistant of an officer of the 2nd Infantry Division raped a 12-year-old girl in June 2012. “Nini” (not her real name) was using the washroom when Masaang, who was drunk, went in and punched Nini and started to touch her private parts. He threatened to kill her mother if she said a word. To further intimidate her, Masaang took out a knife and put it on the floor for Nini to see while she was being raped.
Elements of the 68th Infantry Battalion-Bravo Company, identified as Galot, Daniel and Jay-Ar raped in two separate occasions a 14-year-old Lumad girl “Tess”. The 68th IB Bravo Company was encamped in Sitio Nasilaban, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod. The parents of “Tess” were away for a week to harvest corn in another village, leaving “Tess” and her siblings under the care of their grandmother whose house was used as a camp by some soldiers. On May 6, 2015 Tess was alone in her grandmother’s house when Galot entered and raped her. After Galot, another soldier, Daniel, also raped Tess. On July 4, Tess was playing with her classmates after school when Jay-ar, also a soldier, led her to a grassy portion of a field and raped her. The case of “Tess” was later used as an excuse by Congresswoman Nancy Catamco, the police and the Alamara paramilitary group to break-in at the UCCP-Haran where hundreds of evacuees were housed, including “Tess” and her parents.
On January 30, 2010, members of the 9th IB Bravo Company namely Alex Briones, Archie Vasquez, Gilbert Quinito and a certain Llagas, gang raped ‘Vilma”, 21, inside the 9th IB camp in Aroroy, Masbate. After the four soldiers took turns raping “Vilma”, Briones raped her again. After the incident, Briones sent messages to “Vilma” threatening to kill if she would tell anyone. Three days later, “Vilma” received a text message from Briones asking for a meeting because he had something important to tell her. Briones picked up “Vilma” and brought her to a lodging house where she was raped again.
“We believe there are more rape victims by soldiers and paramilitary forces but, they are afraid and ashamed to report or file a complaint,” Palabay said. “These heinous acts are not isolated cases that can be attributed to individual “bad eggs” in the military. The act of rape serves as a terror tactic to shame and silence women, their families and the community. This barbarism should be condemned, and military officials who employ this tactic in their counterinsurgency program should be punished,” Palabay said.
“BS Aquino will be held accountable for the rape not only of our nation but also of our daughters,” Palabay concluded.
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.