Random Thoughts

MORE FACTS ABOUT RAPE –One interesting fact unraveled by Senior Inspector Ria Tacderan, chief of the Provincial Women and Children Protection Desk of the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) at the KBP Forum on Thursday is the fact that not only girls and women could be victims of rape but also are boys and men.

Answering the question posed by KBP chapter president Mark Espinoza, Ms. Tacderan said while the common notion is that only girls and women are the victims of rapists, she found this out in a seminar she attended where it was shown that the boys and men were also victims of rape.

Unknown to many, she said, there are more boys and men who are actually victims of sexual abuse but, they are not willing to complain as they want to protect their image of masculinity, to preserve their image as  brave and daring, she said.

On Mark’s question where the abused men can go in case they want to complain, Ms. Tacderan said that it is still the WCD in every police station that will handle it. WCD personnel are trained to handle any rape case, irrespective of the gender of the complainant.

Mark cited a seminarian gave up his ambition to be a priest after being allegedly raped by a priest some years back in an eastern Pangasinan town.

The report that we have gathered in this case is that the priest, allegedly from Iloilo, is no longer in town and had been transferred somewhere else many years back.

Another interesting fact in the outline handed to the media by Ms. Tacderan is that of the  441 cases of rape registered in Pangasinan from July  2016 to August 22, 2017, 21 of these were committed by men under the influence of liquor, 52 by children in conflict with the law, 295 by other people not specified and none, repeat none, by people under the influence of illegal drugs.

Ms. Tacderan cautioned the men in the forum, especially Ike Palinar, with this homegrown metaphor: Sir, hindi lahat ng palay pag lumapit ay tutukain ng manok. Dapat piliin ng manok ang palay na tutukain para maging safe”. 

Most of the victims so far documented were as young as four to seven years old and fell victims of incestuous rape.

That is why, there is a need for the police, DSWD and the community to act fast to make the society safer for the young. – Leonardo Micua


A LESSON FOR MAYORS – This piece of sad and bad news and should serve as eye opener to mayors.

Read our report in this issue, the news story that Pozorrubio Mayor Artemio Chan was dismissed by the Ombudsman for signing a marriage certificate of a couple when he was not actually the one who solemnized their wedding rites.

Chan did the signing in absentia. Instead, a mere municipal government casual employee administered the rite and vows. He assured the couple that he’s been authorized by the mayor “many many times already.” In short, it’s an accepted practice for many years already under Mayor Chan’s administration. Aysus, nagmalaki pa.

How many times did Chan and Sarmiento commit this malpractice? We do not know.

Sabi nila okay lang yan kasi wala namang nagrereklamo.

Of course, it became a bad habit because no one dared to sue the mayor until this case. In fact, we’ve heard many reports about the same malpractice being committed by other mayors in different towns in Pangasinan.

One former mayor from San Fabian town did this. Tinatamad kasi si mayor magkasal. Two mayors from third district also did the same. Parehong tamad.

These are just examples but for the longest time, no one was charged. Basta pinirmahan ni mayor okay na yan, yun ang importante, couples who were victims of such malpractice, were often told.

The couples normally accept it especially if they are unlettered and know nothing about marriage laws.

Minalas lang si Mayor Art Chan kasi may nagreklamo.

Of course, one would easily suspect that somebody could be behind his dismissal.

There was an unseen hand and I heard a former councilor was behind it.

The Ombudsman decision about his dismissal came fast. The couple got married in March 2016, three months before the elections. Then few months later, he was charged.

The mayor received copy of the Ombudsman decision on Aug. 16. It was a day of mourning for him, his family, his loyal staff and supporters.

Mabilis, di ba? Kasi marami na akong alam na kaso na inaamag sa Ombudsman. Inaabot ng maraming taon bago magkaroon ng desisyon.

Ang sakit, sobrang sakit kasi for the longest time, Chan has been mayor of Pozorrubio –  three successive terms, then succeeded by his wife, then he took over again successively and is now on his third term.

Sobrang lupit ng desisyon. Akala ko suspension lang,” Chan said.

As I was writing this, I got a call that the Department of Interior and Local Government will serve notice to Chan to vacate his post Friday morning.

It’s really painful but Mayor Chan has to say goodbye.

I hope other mayors learn a very important lesson from Chan’s fate –  Never take your sworn ministerial duties for granted. It may be your last.

Good luck, Mayor Chan. At least, your dismissal is not about graft and corruption.—Eva Visperas

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