By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Loren Legarda (Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA – Senator Loren Legarda has filed Senate Resolution No. 1050, directing the appropriate committee to look into the increasing number of child rape cases in the country, with the goal of strengthening the laws against the heinous crime.

In a news release on Thursday, Legarda cited a report from the Child Protection Network Foundation Inc. saying 2,890 of the 4,079 child violence cases reported from January 1 to May 26, 2024, were sexual abuse/assault.

“We are very concerned with the alarming increase of child rape cases, especially that many of the perpetrators are relatives of the victims, trusted individuals,” she said.

“We need to find out whether our current laws are enough or are even being properly implemented to punish the guilty, protect the victims, and empower the state to help the victims recover anew,” she said.

Legarda called for better implementation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, and the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Other laws such as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and its expanded version, and An Act Promoting for Stronger Protection Against Rape and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Increasing the Age for Determining the Commission of Statutory Rape should also be implemented properly, she said.

Legarda also called for the passage of Senate Bill No. 2401 that seeks to establish Women and Children Protection Units in all government hospitals.

The bill, which Legarda filed in August last year, includes the necessary appropriations to ensure that the protection units are well-equipped to respond to cases of violence against women and to deter gender-based violence. (PNA)