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Although being addressed by the provincial government and included in its plans and programs, Benguet continues to report increasing number of incest rapes — the forced sexual activity between family members.
According to a report from the Benguet Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO), 23 rapes and 21 incest rapes took place from January to July this year.
The latest number released by the agency is relatively much higher than last year with six cases recorded in the same period.
Eight victims were raped by their biological fathers; seven by their uncles; five by their cousins; and one by a relative.
PSWD Officer Juana Banawe noted that although the rape cases happened during quarantine, there are several other reasons for it.
"Reasons for the rape cases, it could be their behaviour — psychological, they could be under the influence of alcohol and there is opportunity, they saw the victim alone without any company, and proximity of the home of suspect and victims' home," Banawe said.
[Original statement: "Reasons for the rape cases, mabalin nga they have the opportunity nga mangdangran dagitoy victims, dagiti behavior da, psychological usually nakainom da and there is opportunity, nakita da dyay victim, maymasa na awan tao, and proximity of the home of suspect and victims' home.”]
Moreover, she reported that victims were provided counseling, psychological evaluation and assistance in processing cases.
Banawe also asked guardians to keep an eye on children and relatives to prevent rape.