One person raped per hour in PH — report

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Philippine Commission on Women Chairperson Rhodora Masilang-Bucoy believes life imprisonment is still a more appropriate punishment for convicted rapists.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In the Philippines, one woman or child is raped every hour.

This is based on police records, as cited by the Center for Women's Resources (CWR), which showed that from January to October last year, there were 7,037 reported rape cases nationwide.

Even the death penalty will not be able to stop this, according to CWR executive director Jojo Guan.

"The execution of a convicted rapist in 1999 did not stop abusers from raping women and girls… Given a corrupt system and a culture of impunity where the rich and the powerful can go scot-free, death penalty will always be a contentious method to curb criminality in the country," Guan said in a press release on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported 4,605 cases of rape, acts of lasciviousness, attempted and incestuous rape in 2016, for women only.

The House of Representatives excluded rape on the list of heinous crimes punishable by death in the bill passed on final reading earlier in the day.

Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Chairperson Rhodora Masilang-Bucoy said some women's groups believed death was not enough punishment for convicted rapists.

"Among the women's groups, there are still those (who deem) the best punishment would be reclusion perpetua. So, forever the person that committed rape will suffer," Bucoy said in a press briefing Tuesday.

The PCW, meanwhile, also wants lack of consent to be the main definition of rape, as what happens during so-called date rapes.

"'Pag nagsabi ang babaeng 'no,' no 'yon at hindi na kailangan hanapin na tumakbo siya or napunit siya or may nagdugo ganyan 'yung struggle 'no [If a woman says "no," it means no. She does not have to prove that she fought back, or that there was penetration, or other forms of struggle]. Because usually when that happens, the women just freeze and just don't know what to do," PCW Executive Director Emmeline Versoza said.

According to the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is committed when a person has forced, threatened or intimidated a woman to have sexual intercourse, or other forms of sexual assault.

Versoza said it would also be better to revise some aspects of the law.

"There are also provisions on the forgiveness clause (that we want to change) because current Anti-Rape Law, RA 8353, enclosed marital rape. If you are married and your husband wants to have sex and you don't want to, he cannot force himself on you," Versoza said.

Under the current anti-rape law, if the legal husband is the offender, the wife can forgive and absolve him of criminal liability.