Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on Thursday decried the government’s failure to stem the alarming rise in crime incidents in the country, particularly those victimizing Filipino children.
In his speech before the Kiwanis Club at the Manila Hotel, Marcos said the government did not fare well in crime prevention despite laws enacted by Congress and the availability of resources to help it address crime, “I guess that everything boils down to weak and inadequate enforcement,” Marcos pointed out.
“If the present administration can boast with confidence and to proudly lay claim to the country’s supposed economic gains, then it should equally have the courage to say mea culpa and accept responsibility for the continued proliferation of dastardly and despicable acts and practices against our Filipino children,” he added.
Marcos cited the report of the PNP-Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) which noted a staggering spike in rape cases in the country, from a 15-year average of almost 4,000 cases to upwards of 7,000 cases in the past year.
“The most shocking part is that 77% of these cases involve minor victims!” Marcos said.
Based on the PNP interpretation of the figures, Marcos said this means there is an incident of rape that happens every 72 minutes; or there are 20 incidents of rape that occur each day, and 15 of these incidents involve minors.
In addition, Marcos said “trafficking of persons” persists and has affected the country’s tourism potential.
“’Sex tourism’ is the evil alter-ego of our country’s tourism industry. Hundreds of thousands of Filipino children lay prone and lay prey to sick and perverse sexual predators, both local and foreign, who come here to the Philippines in the guise of tourism, but in reality for the purpose of satisfying their dark and sinister desires,” Marcos said.
Marcos also noted reports of recruitment of children as members of armed rebel groups. They are often subjected to brainwashing and immersed in a culture of hate against government.
“All these facts and figures show that as a result or in exchange of the pursuit of economic growth, the foundations of our progress provide the very seedbed that make possible and perpetuate the conditions allowing for the utter and reckless disregard of the rights of our Filipino children,” Marcos said.
Marcos urged civil society, the Kiwanis in particular, to help compensate for government’s inadequacy in addressing these threats against Filipino children.
In partnership with the private sector, Marcos said the police force can be better equipped in finding ways to strengthen the fight against crime.
“For as long as our county is plagued by these ills that entirely rob our children of their innocence and the exuberance of their youth and childhood, these will always be a continuing challenge not only to the government, but also to our private charitable organizations,” Marcos said.