JUSTICE FOR BELLE*! JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF STATE-PERPETRATED VIOLENCE!

JUSTICE FOR BELLE*! JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF STATE-PERPETRATED VIOLENCE!

The Center for Women’s Resources joins the call for justice for Belle*, a 15-year old victim of kidnapping, torture, and rape by elements of the 59th IBPA between July to August 2020.

Last January 21, Belle, together with her mother, has come forward and sought help from women’s organizations and human rights institutions to speak against the abuses she and her family has experienced in the hands of military and paramilitary forces in the past years. They also filed cases against civilians, including a DSWD officer from Lopez, Quezon, for serious illegal detention.

Belle’s mother, Ofel, is a member of Coco Levy Fund Ibalik Sa Amin (CLAIM – QUEZON), an organization of coconut farmers who have long been subjected to red tagging and forced surrender under the e-CLIP Amnesty Program of the NFT-ELCAC. After her ordeal in the hands of her perpetrators, Belle and her family continued to receive threats from state forces.

Rape, and other forms of violence, are used as tools for repression by the state to instill fear against the people, especially women and children, to suppress clamor for their basic rights. It has been used as a form of intimidation against community leaders and their families. In the last six years, state-perpetrated abuse against women and children have become more prevalent, with no one less than President Duterte blatantly enabling such violence, through his repulsive and misogynist remarks on rape and violence.

CWR has monitored not less than 81 police and military officers who have been involved in at least 55 cases of abuse against women and children, including at least 33 cases of rape, perpetrated by police and the military since President Duterte was sworn into office in July 2016 to the present.

Just last January 15, another state perpetrator from the QCPD Crime Laboratory Office was arrested for rape and child abuse against a 17-year old girl form Quezon City. There were also at least seven other state-perpetrated VAWC cases reported since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Center for Women’s Resources continues to stand with Belle, her family, and all victims of state-perpetrated abuses. We remain steadfast is our commitment to forward the call to end violence against women and to hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.


*Name withheld for security purposes