MANILA, Philippines – Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan expressed today her outrage as she condemned the reported gang rape of a 21-yearold woman inside a military camp in Aroroy, Masbate.
“We strongly condemn this violence and abuse perpetrated by members of the 9th Infantry Batallion. We join the victim in her appeals for justice and demand a thorough and impartial investigation that will help ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice at the soonest possible time,” said Ilagan.
The rape which reportedly happened Thursday night when Corporal Gilbert Quinto sent a text message to the victim inviting her to meet-up at the army camp in Barangay Puro in Aroroy. The perpetrators invited the victim to have dinner and a drinking spree ensued. Along with Quinto, six other men allegedly took turns in raping the victim afterwards.
Ilagan stressed on the need to expedite the case against the perpetrators without delay especially since those involved are members of the armed forces.
“Perpetrators are armed men in uniform mandated by the Constitution to protect and respect civilians, especially women. Their position of power aggravates the crime of rape that they have committed. Moreover, this is not the first time that members of the military have been accused of rape, harassment and sexual abuse of women, especially in far-flung rural communities,” said Ilagan.
“This incident yet again reveals the putrid macho militarist mindset prevailing among military elements. If perpetrators go scot-free, this case will only serve to embolden perpetrators of sexual abuse violence.”
Ilagan also said that they are willing to extend assistance to the victim. “We are ready to support the victim, provide counseling and encourage her to pursue justice.”