Philippine National Police (PNP) reported an average of eight rape incidents in the Philippines during the imposed community lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
PNP data revealed 602 people nationwide were sexually assaulted from March 17 to May 23, which is an average of people every day.
The PNP however, did not give further details as to the areas with the highest number of rape cases and if there were children among the victims.
The number is 53% lower, or an average of 18 victims a day, compared to the 1,289 cases documented from January 9 to March 16, before the government put most areas in the country under enhanced community quarantines to contain COVID-19.
The PNP earlier defended the agency from allegations that some cops at quarantine checkpoints are involved in a “sex for pass” scheme.
“I strongly urge those unnamed sources to immediately report to the PNP and file charges against suspected wrongdoers,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa said.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have police frontliners who risk their lives on a daily basis. It is unfair that they become part of an unfounded generalization simply because of the criminal actions of a few,” he said.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac meanwhile, said they have yet to receive a complaint against a police officer for any sexual abuse.
Rape incidents during lockdown
Just last week, police rescued three children who went missing in Itogon, Benguet. The suspect admitted he kidnapped and raped the victims. The children were found near a creek in Barangay Gumatdang. The suspect reasoned that his employer did not give him a salary, and that is why he committed the crime.
On May 8, police arrested a man after allegedly pretending to be a habal-habal rider and raping a call center agent despite an enhanced community quarantine.
According to the victim, she was returning home to a rented condominium unit in Makati City on Tuesday night when the suspect offered her a ride. They evaded several checkpoints until they reached Sta. Cruz in Manila.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Rey Magdaluyo, commander of Manila Police District Station 3, said the suspect might have used “shortcuts” to escape the quarantine checkpoints.
The suspect brought the victim to a motel where the rape took place. After the assault, the suspect took the victim to Pasay City.