By KIMBERLIE NGABT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The man that angry Sagada women dragged from his house to the police station last year, faced trial for the first time on March 9 for raping four minors – one of them as young as nine years old.
Rolando Bandril, 56, a migrant from Makati City who settled in Sagada in 2014, had pleaded not guilty to raping the girls in Sagada town, Mountain Province.
Sagada women, mostly mothers, accosted Bandril from his house and dragged him to the town’s police station July 2016 but the police did not detain him because no case was filed against him in court.
According to Carol Bagyan of Binnadang, a progressive women’s organization in Mountain Province, Bandril raped 12 children in his house in 2016 but only the families of four of the victims has filed charges at the RTC. She said that some of the victims already gave birth in 2016.
Bagyan was in Baguio City on March 8 to join the International Working Women’s Day celebration led by Innabuyog-Gabriela. “We rise for juctice and peace, we rise for justice for the Sagada children and all other rape victims,” Bagyan said.
Bagyan also raised alarm over the recorded increase of rape cases in Mountain Province.
“It is disturbing to note that most of the victims of these recoded rape cases are minors ages nine to 14 and that most of these rape cases are incest,” Bagyan said.
In Sagada town alone, the Sagada Women Inayan Watch reported three cases of sexual abuse against children in 2015, it rose to seven in 2016. And one case has been reported early this year that involved a six- year old child sexually abused by a 14 year old out of school youth.
Bagyan also raised alarm over the increasing number of teenage pregnancies in her province.
She pointed our that records of the Mountain Province Civil Registrar’s Office showed that the 409 recorded teen age pregnancies in 2015 rose to 447 in 2016. She said that the same record showed that the youngest pregnant teen in 2015 was a 13 year old.
She said that the youngest mother in Mountain Province is an 11 year old. She added that there is even a 16 year old who already has two children and a 17 year old with four children.
Bagyan urged the social welfare and development offices of the local government units and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to conduct the necessary psycho-social and counseling services for the victims.
The Inayan Watch earlier called urged the activation of Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in all of the 19 barangays of the town. #Kimberlie Ngabit-Quitasolnordis.net