PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde denied on Monday, November 5, allegations by an anti-trafficking group about a "sex-for-freedom scheme” in the national police agency as claimed by an international feminist group.
“’Yung sinasabi n’yo na ganun (palit-puri). There are probably sexual advancements na may nangyaring mga ganyan pero doon sa sinasabi nilang rampant, I think that's harsh to say. That's unfair naman sa amin siguro if you say that, it's totally unfair to the PNP,” he said in a press conference on Monday.
He said there may have been isolated cases in which some policemen are accused of having sexually harassed a woman. But this is not true of the entire police force, he stressed.
“Itong single act which is a very isolated case although hindi namin yan sinasabi because it's isolated we'll keep a blind eye on it, we will never tolerate these things to happen in our ranks and we want to assure the public on that... Ito does not reflect, please lang, this single act does not reflect the general behavior and discipline that we have in the PNP,” said Albayalde.
“Huwag naman po natin sabihin na generalized na tumaas. No, it's not. Records will show that these are all isolated cases. Hindi po ito pang araw-araw na nangyayari. It's not everyday that these things happen,” he added.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) earlier alleged that the “sex-for-freedom scheme or palit-puri" is a “common practice among the policemen."
Under the scheme, CATW-AP Executive Director Jean Enriquez said policemen ask women arrested over drug-related charges to have sex with them in exchange for their freedom.
Albayalde maintained that the PNP never tolerates such illegal activity.
He said the personnel from the PNP-Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) as well as the Women and Children Protection Center regularly visit local police offices to educate their men on such matter.
They also coordinate closely with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
“Even their foreign agencies, hindi naman namin pinagbabawal yan. Just recently, we have the International Red Cross going around the different stations, not only ‘yung tinitingnan nila ‘yung mga detainees, condition ng mga detainees natin but also on how they are being treated by our policemen,” said Albayalde.
“We have the IAS (Internal Affairs Service). ‘Yung aming disciplinary mechanism is in
place. Hindi yan arbitrary. It was never arbitrary and will never be arbitrary,” he added.
The group made the statement following the filing of charges against Police Officer 1 Eduardo Valencia for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him in exchange for the release of her parents who were arrested over drug-related charges.
The group also cited two more cases similar to that of the 15-year-old girl. (SunStar Philippines)