STATEMENT: Justice system fails 16-year old gang-rape victim

Does this warrant the suspects Jeff Anthony Uy Ho, Kenneth Abad and four others reason for celebration? No.

In the face of criticisms, questions and bewildered reactions of everyone following the case of the 16-year old student falling prey to a gang rape on July 12 that points to six sons and relatives of influential personalities in Davao City as perpetrators, the prosecutor’s office shrugged off and proceeded to blame San Pedro Police Office for the affidavit that is “insufficient in facts” which became basis to declare that there is no probable cause to file the case before the court. 

Should the prosecutor’s office have delved further it would have learned that the girl-victim’s medical records taken after the incident showed evidence of having been sexually penetrated, a fact that was negligibly or deliberately excluded in that infamous affidavit that only aggravated the wounds of the victim and her family.

Gabriela considers it an irony that the father of one of the suspects said with conviction that “the truth set my son free.”

We are accustomed to the turtle-slow manner of Philippine’s judicial process and when it gives us a dose of surprise by suddenly handing down decision expeditiously, it is to favor the alleged perpetrators and not to uphold justice for the victim. With how the case is being treated, nipped in the bud, it is not truth that set Ho, Abad and company free, it’s the system that is insensitive, cruel even, to the plight of the women.

The prosecutor’s office tells us the case was dismissed on mere technicalities. This is tantamount to saying that because we have nitwits preparing affidavits or law enforcers who can be threatened by their superiors into capitulating to pressure: want-to-be rapists do stand a hefty chance to walk away scot-free after committing heinous crimes.

Gabriela urges all concerned to treat this matter beyond mere technicalities. This is rape of a 16-year old minor that we have at hand. We are looking at a case that screams RAPE in bold letters, beyond doubt. How can we afford to sit back and let technicalities decide its fate? 

Gabriela knows with so much misgivings the judicial system is flawed, but the progressive women organization is calling on all concerned to hand justice to the victim lest this will become yet  another monumental mockery, not just to the raped girl but to all women’s rights and welfare we so fervently fight for.

Justice is supposed to be the most powerful tool the people have to defend themselves, to promote their interests but when it ceases to work within this context, then justice defies its own essence and becomes only an expensive tool of the powerful.

Melba D. Gambong
GABRIELA Southern Mindanao
2 Bernardo Apartments, San Pedro Ext.

Davao City     Tel. 227-3403