MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday raised alarm over the reported surge in the cases of violence against women and children since the implementation of community quarantine in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Ang domestic violence naman po ay isang krimen sa ating bansa. Naa-alarma po tayo (Domestic violence is a crime in our country. We are alarmed),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing aired on government-owned PTV-4.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his 12th weekly report to Congress, revealed that as of June 11, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded 4,260 cases of violations against women and children.

While the country is under different levels of community quarantine, around 2,183 women and 2,077 children have suffered violence, according to Duterte’s latest report.

The total of 4,260 cases of violence against women and children are higher by 561 cases or 13.1 percent from the 3,699 cases reported by Duterte the previous week.

As of June 4, the PNP has recorded 1,945 cases of violence against women and 1,754 cases of violence against children since the nationwide implementation of community quarantine, Duterte said in his 11th weekly report to Congress.

Despite the significant increase in cases of violence, Duterte ensured that the government would protect women and children amid the implementation of community quarantine in the country.

Roque reiterated that victims of domestic violence can seek assistance from authorities.

“Kaya nga po nagkakaroon na tayo ngayon ng mga hotline… (We are establishing crisis hotlines… Victims can ask for help),” he said.

PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa earlier ordered a crackdown on cybercriminals, especially those who are targeting women and children.

Victims of any form of violence, including sexual exploitation and human trafficking, are encouraged to contact the PNP’s Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC).

They can make a report through (02) 1343, the PNP-WCPC hotlines 0919-777-7377 and 8723-0401 local 5261, and Messenger account @wcpcpnp.

PNP-WCPC chief, Brig. Gen. Alessandro Abella, said they have already conducted 5,049 investigations, 3,628 arrests, and 3,462 inquest proceedings since the start of the quarantine period in the country. (PNA)

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