3 girls raped every week in Zamboanga City, crime stats show
ZAMBOANGA CITY — In the last eight months, an average of three girls were raped in this city every week, crime statistics compiled by the local police showed.
Police Lt. Col. Paul Andrew Cortes, information officer of the Zamboanga City police, said they had recorded a total of 105 rape cases in the 35 weeks from January to August this year.
Of these, 41 cases are considered “solved,” meaning the identified suspects have been arrested and facing charges in court. Another 63 cases are classified as “cleared,” meaning suspects have been identified and complaints have been filed against them, although they are still at large.
Only one rape case is still under investigation, Cortes said. He said they were pursuing the 63 suspects, hoping to make the arrests as the local courts issue warrants against them.
Citing the result of police investigations as well as interviews of the victims, Cortes said that in 78 of the 105 cases, “the victims know the suspects [and that] a number of the cases are incestuous.”
“Sad to note that for some victims, they know the suspects. Other victims were attacked inside their own homes, perhaps by their father, uncle, or brother,” Cortes noted.
In the 27 other cases, the victims did not have any relation to the suspects.
Of the 105 victims, 88 are minors or below 18 years old, 14 are between 19 to 25, and three are between 26 and 40.
Cortes said profiles of the suspects showed 34 are aged between 19 and 25, 15 between 26 and 35, and 27 between 36 and 50. At least 18 are teenagers or minors, while nine are between 51 and 60 years old, and two seniors.
He advised parents to keep track of their children’s behavior on social media as this could lead to them eventually meeting strangers which could further lead to a sexual assault.
Just in July, a 17-year-old high school student here was raped and her body dumped near her family’s house.
On the morning of July 25, the girl asked permission from her mother to return a borrowed uniform to a classmate but she failed to return home that day. Her relatives sought police help after she was declared missing.
The following day, at 1:30 p.m., her body was found in a grassy area in the village of Pasabolong, just a few meters from her house. The girl’s face was swollen and her neck showed signs of strangulation.
She was stripped of her underwear, indicating there could be sexual assault, which would later be proven by laboratory results. After a 30-hour manhunt, police arrested two of three suspects who were identified by a minor who witnessed the assault.
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