Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23 instituted Martial Law in the Mindanao region of The Republic of the Philippines and on May 27 in a lightly masked order cryptically instructed troops loyal to his cause to use rape of women as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instill fear in the civilian members of the Muslim community in the region of Mindanao of the Philippines. Rape is no joke. President Rodrigo Duterte has issued this order in war time and such action comprises a war crime.
Under United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 1820 The RINJ Foundation is urging the Security Council to enforce its Resolution 1820 of 2008
- both admonish and sanction the President of the Republic of the Philippines; and further
- that similar admonishment and sanctions be directed at the President of The United States for condoning these actions.
As a member of the United Nations the Philippines is bound to abide by UN Resolution 1820 which sets out that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide. The same applies to the United States.
As a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and signatory state to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the Republic of The Philippines is bound to abide by all aspects of the Statute and may not use of rape as a “spoil/reward” or “tool” of war which it is now conducting against Muslim factions.
The main purpose of rape in armed conflicts is to empower, to shame, terrorize and humiliate the enemy or to reward fighters or both. The thought behind it is to show the enemy community that their men are not able to take care of and protect their women anymore. This will be interpreted as a loss of manhood of the combatants and lower the feeling of safety within their group.
The reason why rape is so common and popular in war times can be found by setting up a simple cost-benefit calculation: women and girls are easily accessible in times of war, they are unprotected and easy targets, since their men are occupied with fighting a war and cannot defend them as they would do in times of peace.
Armed perpetrators have the possibility of forcing a ‘hookup’ with every woman they want without facing consequences, at least not directly afterwards, showing high benefits at almost no liability.
The RINJ Foundation has thousands of female volunteers operating throughout the Philippines. They all seem terrified but determined to get their country back.