The trouble with rape is, it is still rape and no matter how light or serious the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte handles the problem in his city, the fact remains, Davao City has the highest rape cases in the country.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) recently released data on rape incidence around the country for the 2nd quarter of 2018 and Davao City ranked first with 42 cases; followed by Quezon City, 42; Manila, 32, Cagayan de Oro, 24; and Zamboanga City, 21.
President Duterte reacted in gist telling the nation that “ingon sila nga daghang rape sa Davao. Basta daghang gwapa, daghang rape gyud na.” (They said that Davao had many rape cases. If there are a lot of pretty women, there would be a lot of rape.)
It will be useless to criticize the President for such very careless and insensitive statement because it is his natural self and the Filipinos wanted a naturally careless and insensitive President. The man, though, is a loving father and grandfather to his family so it would be safe to assume that he is only joking and such statement regarding the rape cases in his home city should not be taken seriously.
The fact, however, remains that President Duterte has failed to address several problems in his hometown, including rape.
The rape cases in Davao City are said to have happened inside private dwellings where the presence of police is at its weakest. True. However, a rape is a rape and it could be read in the context of illegal drugs, which is the President’s delusional battle cry and illiteracy.
If the base line then of the discussion is illegal drugs which is somehow the causal trend of any crime perpetuated under the Duterte presidency including the crime of criticizing the President, it will be safe to conclude that illegal drugs is beyond control in Davao City.
Of course it is not correct. Rape is a fatal and complicated crime and the authorities both civilian and uniformed should find a way to help prevent it or at least resolve it. Beyond the ‘beautiful’ joke of the President are real victims and perpetuators who are in need of real help.
For a nation that boasts of a high literacy rate, rape cases pose enormous challenge to every stakeholder. Are we really literate?