THE Philippine National Police (PNP) downplayed Thursday, November 1, the statement of a women’s organization that several police personnel were involved in “state-perpetrated cases” of violence against women (VAW) monitored since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. said the PNP abhors any form of violence committed against women and ensured that those responsible for such act will be held liable.
“It is therefore absolutely irresponsible on the part of the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) to even claim that crimes individually committed by a handful of police officers are ‘state-perpetrated.’ Insinuating in the process that those crimes were in a way condoned by the PNP or the State. A regular reader would immediately recognize such sweeping conclusion against an institution only reveals an utter lack of intellectual honesty of those who interpreted their data,” he said.
“While we can be tough on crimes, we are far tougher against our erring personnel. There has been no other time in the PNP’s recent history, except today, that its leadership has been relentless and unforgiving against those who violated their oaths,” he added.
Durana said there may be some of them who had gone astray but maintained that they do not represent the entire majority of service personnel.
The CWR, in a statement, said that 56 cops are involved in 33 state-perpetrated VAW cases in the past two years.
Of the 33 cases, 13 involve victims who are 17 years old and below.
It said among the common abuses were catcalling, sexual harassment, physical assault, acts of lasciviousness, blackmailing, trafficking, and rape.
Almost half of the cases monitored, or 16 of the 33 cases, are on rape, seven cases are on acts of lasciviousness, while 12 cases were allegedly drug-related, which means the victims were either drug suspects, relatives of drug suspects or were assaulted during drug-related operations.
“It is appalling how the authorities become bolder in committing abuses against women and minors. This only exemplifies the Duterte administration’s low regard for women’s rights,” CWR executive director Jojo Guan said.
“It is enraging that these abuses against women and minors continue despite reports. Disturbingly, the culture of impunity is more rampant. Abuses against women continue because these scalawags are able to get away from their crimes. When the abuses continue and the perpetrators remain scot-free, this shows how the government protects and covers up their messes,” he added.
The CWR made the statement following the apprehension of Police Officer 1 Eduardo Valencia, who was accused of raping a 15-year-old daughter of an arrested couple over their involvement in illegal drugs.
The CWR challenged the PNP to conduct investigations on the cities and municipalities, including Cebu City; Binangonan, Rizal; Balayan, Batangas; Calamba, Laguna; Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo; Iligan City; Jaro, Iloilo; Marilao and Meycauayan, Bulacan; Olongapo; Dingalan, Aurora; Cagayan de Oro City; Hagonoy Bulacan; and Manila where there were VAW cases.
The group also demanded for the release of the full results of the investigations on the monitored rape cases involving police officers. (SunStar Philippines)