56 policemen under Duterte commit VAWC

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — A women’s training and research institution on October 30, said they recorded 56 personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to have abused women since Rodrigo Duterte assumed presidency.

Data collated from July 2016-October 2018 by the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) showed 33 “state-perpetrated cases of violence against women and children involving the police.

Documented acts of violence range from catcalling, sexual harassment, physical assault, acts of lasciviousness, blackmailing, trafficking, and rape.

“It is appalling how the authorities have become bolder committing abuses against women and minors,” CWR executive director Jojo Guan said, adding the incidents show the government’s low regard for women’s rights.

Of those 33 cases, 13 cases involve victims who are 17 years old and below. Sixteen are rape while seven are acts of lasciviousness.

Meanwhile, 12 cases involves victims that are drug suspects, relatives of drug suspects, or assaulted by police during drug-related operations.

The most recent case documented is the rape of a 15-year-old daughter of a drug suspect allegedly committed by Police Officer 1 Eduardo Valencia of the Manila Police District (MPD).
Media outfits quoted Valencia saying that such practice is common among officers involved in actions against illegal drugs.

CWR said the incident is not the first case that is associated to MPD members.

Last March, four police officers harassed an 11-year-old girl from Sampaloc, Manila during a drug operation. The Sampaloc Police identified those non-uniformed police officers as members of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit.

“It is enraging that these abuses against women and minors continue despite reports,” Guan laments, citing that CWR monitoring revealed that some of the policemen involved in abuses against women come from the same cities or provinces.

She claimed the abuse of women continue because scalawags get away with their crimes.
The CWR head dared PNP to release the list of cops involved in abuses against women and minors, and reveal the status and results of the investigations.

So far, the center recorded only one case of dismissal from service on VAW charges. This involves six police officers who raped an inmate charged with illegal possession of drugs in Olongapo.

CWR said the rest of the cases have either been dropped or not pursued, while most of the police officers involved have been only relieved or transferred to a different police station.
In a statement, the office also chided PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, Jr. for claiming the report that 16 of his colleagues are involved in rape cases are not true.

The CWR condemned the PNP’s try to “discredit a credible research”, and considers it an “attack against the women’s movement in general.”

An article in the Inquirer quoted Durana that he is “inclined to believe” the report is “fake news”, adding that CWR is only “riding on the story of Valencia.”

“Instead of making another excuse for cover up, have courage to acknowledge the truth and punish the abusers,” the statement said.

The institution pointed that in rape cases, “one is too many”, especially if abusers are state enforcers who are supposed to protect people. # nordis.net

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