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Center for Women’s Resources: Police abuses vs. women involve mostly rape

Majority of the cases of abuse committed by 56 police officials against women involve rape, a report from the research and training institution Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) showed Wednesday.

The CWR report, which covered the violence against women and children since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016 until October 2018, revealed that 16 out of the 33 cases of police abuse involve rape.

Other abuses said to have been committed by the police as found  by CWR include: catcalling, harassment, sexual harassment, other forms of sexual abuse, physical assault, acts of lasciviousness, blackmailing and trafficking.

The police officials' victims were aged 17 and below.

“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 in a statement.

On the other hand, 12 of the 33 cases are drug-related, meaning the victims were either drug suspects, relatives of drug suspects, or were assaulted during drug-related operations.

CWR's report came less than a week after Police Officer 1 Eduardo Valencia of the Manila Police District was accused of raping a 15-year-old daughter of a couple arrested in an anti-drug operation. Valencia is accused of having sex with the victim in exchange of freeing the victim's parents from detention.

Valencia has denied raping the victim, but no less than National Capital Region Police Office head Director Guillermo Eleazar berated Valencia for his supposed crime, citing results of the test conducted on the victim.

The CWR further added that Valencia’s case is not the first for MPD since an 11-year-old girl from Sampaloc, Manila was also allegedly harassed by four policemen during an anti-drug operation last March.

Per CWR, the police identified those non-uniformed police officers as members of Station Drug Enforcement Unit.

“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,” Guan said.

“When the abuses continue and the perpetrators remain scot-free, this shows how the government protects and covers up their messes,” Guan added.

Guan called on the Philippine National Police to release the list of cops involved in abuses against women and minors, and to reveal the status of investigations conducted on these erring cops, if there are any, considering that only one erring policeman was dismissed from service due to committing violence against women and children.

That dismissed police official, per CWR, was one of the six police officers linked to the rape of an inmate charged with illegal possession of drugs in Olongapo.

“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,” Guan said.

PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Benigno Durana, however, tagged CWR's claims as irresponsible.

“The Philippine National Police abhors any form of violence committed against women. The full wrath of the law definitely awaits anyone found guilty of committing such horrendous crime. It is absolutely irresponsible on the part of the Center for Women’s Resources to even claim that crimes individually committed by a handful of police officers are state-perpetrated,” Durana said in a statement.

“Such sweeping conclusion against an institution only reveals an utter lack of intellectual honesty of those who interpreted their data. The PNP has its own share of the wayward few, but they do not represent the entire majority of service personnel who are professional, honest and dedicated,” he added.

Durana cited PNP's PATROL PLAN 2030 which provides for institutional reforms that addresses legal, policy and systemic dysfunctions in the PNP en route to a “highly capable, effective and credible police service.”

“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,” Durana said. — RSJ, GMA News