What happens now to a Filipino Soldier Who Rapes

RINJ too, will “Talk To The Troops”.

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the troops of Joint Task Force Sulu prior to his visit to wounded soldiers at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu on May 27, 2017. PCOO/Released President Rodrigo Duterte talks to troops of Joint Task Force Sulu prior to his visit to wounded soldiers at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu on May 27, 2017. PCOO/Released

“Sexual violence is not only employed as a tactic of war but also as a tactic of terror”, said former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on April 13, 2015.

Do not rape. Huwag Mangrape. Read & share.

You were raped? Go here now.

June 07, 2017 – Manila, Republic of The Philippines — Filipino soldiers who rape will get life.

On 26 May this nation’s President Rodrigo Duterte, having declared Martial law in the Muslim region of Mindanao on 23 May (population estimated as high as 25 million),  told the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a televised speech that each soldier could rape up to three women with impunity. He later said, when challenged and asked for a retraction and apology by The RINJ Foundation, “I was joking [wink wink]”–Duterte.

ending the impunity of rapists in war zones

Rape is no joke.

We know that rape is common in the Philippines, especially punitive or corrective rape; plus rape and sexual enslavement of children.

Because rape of Filipinos is so common, and because of the patriarchal culture of the Philippines, nobody takes rape survivors seriously. They are in fact subjected to levels of abuse that includes death to gain witness-silence.

We have news for soldiers under Duterte’s command. You have an abysmal record going back to the Martial law days of raping and torturing for Dictator Marcos. The world is light years ahead of this backwards, scurrilous, neanderthal conduct. Women have rights equal to men.

When it comes to sexually violent crimes in war zones, it’s the world that will prosecute offenders, not some bribed Judge in your Barangay.

When the head of state of a 105 million pop. nation tells the nation’s troops under Martial Law that they will have impunity for raping the Mindanao Muslim women, it is not a joke, it is a serious crime in international law and in Philippines law. It is also stepping into the bounds of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Because the Philippines is in a state of  ‘Armed Conflict’ involving its military; and because the country is under Martial Law meaning that the country’s government has deemed itself unable to govern the nation and handed governance of part or all the country to a military force, the Rome_Statute_(English) Of The International Criminal Court applies as the rule of law; so also does UN-Resolution-1820-N0839144 which exists as a Resolution of the UN Security Council for the purpose of assailing impunity of offenders who commit sexual violence in areas of conflict.

You will be in like-minded company. The Islamic State, Boko Harem, Abu Sayyaf, al-Quaeda and other heinous-crime, war-rape offenders are about to be fried. Are you one of those animals?

Duterte has declared war; the Philippines is embroiled in an armed conflict; and has told troops currently loyal to him that they may rape the women in the area of operation (Mindanao).  Any rape that does occur arguably comprises a war crime.

An easier case-charging argument to make with some certainty of success is that rape in this conflict of Marawi, Mindanao is a systemic crime against humanity and against a class of people, because of the dispatch of the Commander-in-Chief.

The war-crime charge would be brought under the Rome_Statute_(English) Of The International Criminal Court.

In a televised and distributed “speech to the troops” Duterte has handed us what we need to prove that in the Philippines conflict between the State and some religious fundamentalists, rape is being ordered by the state as a tactic of war and a tactic of terror.

Technically, conviction of one rapist who heard Duterte’s order, would prove the larger crime. Ideally a prosecutor would want all offenders charged and convicted.

“Sexual violence in conflict needs to be treated as the war crime that it is; it can no longer be diminished to an unfortunate collateral damage of war.” UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura
Today UN Resoluton 1820 and the Rome Statute set out strident rules of law that remove any hope of impunity for sexual violence crimes in areas of conflict.

So what happens to Soldiers who Rape in areas of Conflict?

  • Prepare yourself to serve a life sentence in prison possibly in another country.
  • There is no limitation on the time it takes to charge you with this  crime. Some convictions come 1-15 years after the fact.
  • It may help you understand your fate to know that survivors of rape by soldiers in armed conflicts most often do not tell of the crime for years. If more complainants come forward after you have been convicted you will have more cases, more costs to your family and more disgrace. It is possible you could face the death penalty, as you know, depending on the outcome of President Duterte’s effort to reinstate capital punishment for Filipinos as young as nine.
  • Your conviction will serve to prove a crime by your country and its leaders that is greater than your crime, like crime against humanity; genocide; or aggression. The first two are the most likely.
  • Your action will motivate an enhanced recruitment process by extremely violent persons who live by an aggression ideology you, your family and friends, might not survive.
  • Your country will be imperiled by continuous random acts of terrorism because of the crimes against a class of individuals you have offended. Do not rape.
  • Your spiritual advisors will likely tell you your punishment is hell, but we think a very ugly life imprisonment is a sure thing.
  • Your family will be subjected to horrible persecution because the military will see you as being one of the people who tainted and destroyed the image of your Military unit; brought shame to every Filipino; and brought horrible shame to your community. (You are a soldier, paid to protect your countrymen. Why in hell would you be raping the people you swore to protect? Your punishment will be awful. So it should be.)
  • Your unit will likely be disbanded.  Members will hate you.
  • You know how goes the centuries-old nasty military cultural adage of armies past and present:  “Catch a thief in the barracks and you cut of his hand. Catch a rapist in the barracks and you cut off his d***”. You know what that means, right? Your own peers may turn on you violently.

Here’s the scoop: Don’t rape, no matter what you think your orders are. It is not necessary for you to obey a bad order. Do not rape.

Huwag Mangrape.

Read: Collecting War-Zone Evidence of Sexual Violence

Rape in a war zone is a war crime.

I have been raped! What do I do.
Get to safety. Visit Helpline

You can file a detailed report here.

The RINJ Foundation has volunteers
in the field, collecting evidence; doing survivor medical support and case work reporting. Any person can file a report of war-time rape of their own experience or their knowledge of crime against another person by submitting photographs you found online or on your phone or a witness’ device (especially identification photos of perpetrators before, at, or after the material time) and evidence documents here. You can file a detailed report here.