Palawan Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates during the Arampangan sa Kapitolyo (AsK) on April 28.

Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates has raised concern over a troubling surge in the incidence of rape cases in Palawan, as reported by the provincial police on Friday.

Stating that such report has yet to reach him, he said he is confident enough that the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) is doing its job regarding the matter through its counseling desk on violence against women and children which falls under the category of social problems.

“Personally, walang nakakaabot sa akin na reports about rape so it’s sad na may mataas palang cases. I don’t know what the PSWDO is doing but I’m sure they are doing something about it na nababanggit paminsan-minsan yung IEC campaign for parents and children (Personally, no reports about rape reach me, so it’s sad to know that there are high cases. I don’t know what the PSWDO is doing, but I’m sure they are taking action about it since they sometimes mention their Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign for parents and children.),” Socrates said during the monthly Arampangan sa Kapitolyo (AsK) held last Friday, April 28.

The governor was referring to the report by P/Col. June Rian, Deputy Director of Operations of the Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPPO), in which he stated that crime has decreased in the province over the past two years, with the exception of rape cases, which increased.

“Sa latest namin na comparative report ng incident ng first quarter of 2022 and 2023, mayroon tayong 55 crime incidents for 2022 then for 2023, mayroon tayong 44 incidents so mas mababa pa rin ng 10. Sa rape incidents, mayroon tayong 16 incidents noong 2022, ito yung sinasabi ko na tumaas (In our latest comparative report of crime incidents for the first quarter of 2022 and 2023, we had 55 crime incidents in 2022, and in 2023, we had 44 incidents, which is still 10 incidents lower. In terms of rape incidents, we had 16 incidents in 2022, which is what I meant when I said that it increased),” Rian said.

Rian also explained that, in order to resolve the problem, the PPPO has been conducting ongoing information campaigns in various schools and other areas using an approach known as Enhanced Managing Police Operations.

Socrates, in response to the activity, expressed discomfort with the concept of sex education, which he described as a sensitive issue.

“I think hinahanap yun sa akin–kung ano ang ginagawa ng (I think they are looking for it from me–about what is being done by the) LGU or the local chief executive, towards implementing the sex education aspect of reproductive health law and other related laws like VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children),” he said.

A devout Catholic by faith, Socrates said it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children on what not to do and what to do to avoid such incidents.

“Traditionally and ideally, it is the family that should take care of educating their children,” he said.

“Kasi ang intindi ko, sabi ng expert ay it is lack of knowledge or it is ignorance that leads to unwanted incidents like rape or teenage pregnancy. So ideally, dapat tatay ang nagtuturo sa anak na lalaki while the mothers should educate their daughters (Because as I understand it, according to the expert, it is the lack of knowledge or ignorance that leads to unwanted incidents like rape or teenage pregnancy. So ideally, fathers should be the ones to teach their sons, while mothers should educate their daughters),” he added.