NGO launches Girls Alert campaign

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/11 February) — It’s the season of the hearts and the nongovernment organization Partners Inc. is launching a campaign dubbed Girls Alert to drumbeat the issue of abuses against women and children.

Girls Alert will target 10 public high schools in the city to increase awareness on the rampant abuses against women and children in the city, said Stan Salcedo, executive director of Partners Inc.

The NGO had recorded at least 30 cases of abuse on women and children ranging from sexual harassment, cyber prostitution, rape and pedophilia. The suspects are both locals and foreigners.

Girls Alert campaigner Lalae Garcia said the victims were mostly girls of high school age coming from public secondary schools.

One case involved Police Officer 3 Lonie Rementizo who is facing charges of child abuse, sexual harassment and rape. Four girls have come forward to press charges against him.

Rementizo was arrested in the company of minors in a motel in September last year.

In March last year, authorities cracked down on a cybersex den allegedly being run by two Swedish nationals.

Salcedo said they are launching the campaign because if left unattended, “the situation will definitely worsen and certainly contribute to the disruption of educational and social growth, creating low self-esteem and uncertainty of the future of the girl victims.”

Gina Arayan, program officer of Partners Inc. said that they were alarmed by confirmed reports that “pimps and abusers are now lurking at the doorsteps of schools waiting to strike at unsuspecting victims.”

The Girls Alert campaign aims to create awareness in young women and girls on their rights. It also alerts school officials, parents and concerned government agencies on the problem. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)