HomeNews AlertChild rights group calls for probe into child abuse during pandemic

Child rights group calls for probe into child abuse during pandemic

A child rights group in the Philippines called on the government to look into possible abuses against children during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns issued the statement following the killing of a 15-year old girl who filed a rape case against two police officers in the northern province of Ilocos.

Eule Rico Bonganay, Salinlahin secretary general, said the incident “might be just a tip of the iceberg” and there could be more unreported cases of abuse.

“There could be a lot more victims who are anxious to come out and tell their horrible ordeals,” said Bonganay.

On July 2, Fabel Pineda was shot dead in Cabugao town, Ilocos Sur province, after filing a complaint against two police officers who arrested her and another 18-year old female for violating the curfew.

According to initial police investigation, staff sergeants Randy Ramos and Marawi Torda took advantage of the two girls, who were reportedly intoxicated when arrested.

The two police officers, who were tagged as suspects in the murder, were already placed under custody.

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Bonganay said the killing of the minor “sends a chilling effect to other victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence especially when it involves men in uniform.”

He said the death of Pineda “undoubtedly reinforces the fear” of other rape victims in coming out to the open and seek justice.

“The draconian measure imposed by the government to contain the deadly disease has given the police so much power as well as the confidence to commit crimes,” he said.

Bonganay said his office has received numerous accounts of violations committed by state forces against women and children who have been arrested and detained for violating quarantine protocols.

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