LAWMAKERS from the Makabayan bloc is calling for an investigation at the House of Representatives on sexual abuses by police officers following a recent rape incident in Pampanga. 

The group, led by Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene D. Brosas, filed House Resolution 2305 seeking for the House committee on women and gender equality to immediately hold a probe on the matter.  

A cop, identified as Staff Sergeant Robin Mangaga, was recently reported to have allegedly raped a 26-year old female motorcycle rider in Mabalacat City on Oct. 8 after confiscating her keys for driving without a license and brought her to a motel.  

The suspect has since been relieved from his post and placed under restrictive custody pending investigation from the Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police.  

The lawmakers, citing data from the Center for Women’s Resources (CFWR), said the incident is not an isolated case as there have been at least five cases of rape and sexual assault committed by police officers since the imposition of quarantine restrictions last year.   

CFWR also said in a statement on Oct. 13 that 56 police officers have been involved in 33 cases of abuse against women, including 16 cases of rape, during the first two years of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term in office.    

“In many instances, suspects for violence against women and children were not held accountable or were only given light sanctions especially if the perpetrators have power and position,” according to the House resolution.  

The group also said that there is a need to impose stiffer penalties on state forces who commit violence against women and children, which should be in the final amendments of the bill seeking to raise the age of sexual consent to 16.  

The bill is pending at the bicameral committee level. — Russell Louis C. Ku 

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