By Frances Kristine Alvero, PNA
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The number of recorded crimes against children in South Cotabato province has continued to decrease since last year, thanks to the success of Oplan Tokhang and improved awareness on the problem among residents.
Lt. Josie Alog, women and children section chief of the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office (SCPPO), said Tuesday the recorded crimes against children in the province’s 10 towns and lone city dropped by nearly half since last year.
In 2018, Alog said they recorded a total of 239 cases, which was 45 percent lower than the 524 in 2017.
Alog said they saw the same trend in the first quarter of the year, with a total of 39 documented cases that included acts of lasciviousness, incestuous rape, attempted rape, and statutory rape.
Alog attributed the decreasing incidence to their continuing information and education campaigns in local communities as well as the success of the government’s “war against illegal drugs” under Oplan Tokhang.
“A number of the previous cases were tied to illegal drugs and we saw the downtrend as among the impacts of the campaign (Tokhang),” she said in a media forum.
Lt. Col. Marvin Duadua, SCPPO community affairs chief, recalled that the recorded crimes against children initially rose in 2016 as more victims started to come out and filed complaints.
Duadua said they complemented that with massive information and education campaigns in the last two years at the “grassroots level”.
“We found out that there were many unreported cases of violence against children because of the stigma, fear and many other reasons,” he said.
“We will continue with these activities and we already set activities in some of our schools this coming school year,” he added. (PNA)