Over 1,600 minors nabbed for rape in 2 years – PNP
MANILA, Philippines – Since 2017, there have been over 1,600 children below the age of 18 who have been apprehended by cops after being accused of committing rape, data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed.
In 2017 alone, police took into custody 772 minors accused of rape. The next year, cops apprehended 877, leading to a total of 1,659 children accused of the crime. (READ: Children in conflict with the law: Cracks in Juvenile Justice Act)
All of these minors have been turned over to agencies for rehabilitation.
Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 sets the minimum age of criminal liability at 15 years old. Those who are 15 to 18 years old may be detained in youth centers to undergo rehabilitation programs.
Those under 15 years old are exempt from criminal liability and instead undergo intervention.
Why do they commit rape? It's because of both the environment and the culture that makes them "vulnerable," according to PNP Women and Children's Protection Center - Violence Against Women and Children chief Senior Superintendent Angela Rejano.
"Ina-allow kasi ng magulang natin na gano'n ang kultura at masyado tayong maluwag, parang nawalan na tayo ng pagpapahalaga ng pagdisiplina sa mga batang ito," Rejano told Rappler in an interview on Tuesday, January 22.
(It is because this has been the culture and parents have become too lenient, it's like we no longer value teaching discipline to children.)
Rejano listed 4 main causes of rape allegedly committed by children:
- Wearing of "inappropriate" clothes
According to Rejano, children would find ways to commit sexual crimes when they are "triggered," especially since they have "impressionable minds." (READ: Beyond juvenile delinquency: Why children break the law)
Rejano said the most vulnerable youth are from the poor communities, where public spaces are neither well-lit nor guarded. – Rappler.com