A female writing fellow took to Facebook to complain about a rape incident that happened during the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop in Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in Iligan City.
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Writer accused of rape submits to CHR probe
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - August 21, 2019 - 12:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — The writer accused of raping a writing fellow at a national writer’s workshop on Tuesday submitted his affidavit before the Commission on Human Rights.

Iligan National Writers Workshop (INWW) panelist and alumnus, also the keynote speaker, Timothy James Dimacali went to the CHR in response to the public statement of the commission issued August 9, that it will launch an investigation against him.

“Today, I appeared before the Commission on Human Rights to personally submit my affidavit with respect to an incident during the the Iligan National Writers’ Workshop,” Dimacali said in a post.

Dimacali added that he welcomes the probe of the commission so he did not wait for its invite.

“Even before I receive any notice, I am voluntarily submitting to any investigation that the commission will launch, and I hope that it keeps its promise to reach a just closure of this episode,” the accused said.

“I pray that this endeavor will clear my name because the truth is on my side,” he added.

Early August, a female writing fellow took to Facebook to complain about a rape incident that happened during the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop in Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in Iligan City. The workshop was held in May this year.

Dimacali was accused of being the harasser.

READ: Fellow at national writing workshop accuses panelist of rape

The INWW’s organizer Mindanao Creative Writers Group then responded to the issue and released a statement saying it does not condone rape.

The organizing body added it conducted an investigation into the complaint, which was reported 10 days after the alleged harassment occurred.

It said “the investigation pointed the alleged incident being a private matter between two consenting adults.”

The workshop’s organizing body also denounced the “social media frenzy” on the matter and warned that it would sue those who would damage the workshop’s reputation.

The incident called for probe into the matter as the national writer’s workshop is funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

READ: Women’s network calls for probe into alleged rape incident at national writer’s workshop

'Rape allegation not isolated' 

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines, an organization of Philippine artists and cultural workers, also issued a statement decrying the rape allegations.

“As artists, cultural, and knowledge workers who stand for justice, we condemn any form of rape, sexual misconduct, assault, harassment, and violence especially against women and other marginalized genders. We believe that these acts all constitute attacks on our collective rights, welfare, and consciousness,” the organization said.

It cited the INWW rape allegation “does not seem to be an isolated case.”

“This points to a more systemic social problem of gendered violence, the acts of which seem to be abetted and emboldened with the Duterte regime’s overtly misogynistic rhetoric and threats,” it said.

The cultural organization lauded the aggrieve for her bravery in sharing her story.

The organization also called on appropriate agencies to conduct a probe into the allegations. They said that they “support an independent, immediate and thorough probe and a just resolution to the issues raised.”

“We challenge the NCCA, the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) and other institutions relating to such grievances to revisit their mandate and accountability as government agencies to prioritize and ensure that all women are defended and protected from violence and gender-based offenses and are helped in attaining justice and healing,” the group of artists said.

'All investigations are welcome'

Meanwhile, the Mindanao State University Iligan Institute of Technology also addressed the issue and said it launched its investigation into the alleged rape incident claimed to have occurred inside its hostel on the early morning of June 1.

“The investigation which is being overseen by the Security and Investigation Division and Legal Services Office, is independent of the one earlier conducted by the workshop organizers, Mindanao Creative Writers Group,” the university said.

The university welcomed other investigations “especially by proper authorities including CHR.” It assured the commission that it would cooperate in the probe.

The statement was signed by its university chancellor, Sukarno Tanggol.

26TH ILIGAN NATIONAL WRITERS WORKSHOP COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS MINDANAO CREATIVE WRITERS GROUP MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-ILIGAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY NCCA RAPE
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