Study reveals police abuse of Filipino women

Of 33 recorded cases in last two years half involved rape, women's group says
Study reveals police abuse of Filipino women

Filipino women hold a protest to voice their concerns during this year's observance of Women's Day. (Photo by Jire Carreon) reporter, Manila
November 1, 2018
A study by a research center for women has revealed that 56 Filipino policemen were involved in 33 cases of violence against women in the past two years.

The result of the study was released on Oct. 31 in the wake of reports that a police officer in Manila allegedly raped the 15-year-old daughter of a suspected drug dealer.

Data collated by the Center for Women's Resources showed that of the 33 cases since July 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power, 13 cases involved minors.

"It is appalling how the authorities become bolder in committing abuses against women and minors," said Jojo Guan, executive director of the center.

Half the cases recorded, or 16, involved rape, while seven were described as "acts of lasciviousness."

"It is enraging that these abuses continue," said Guan. 

"Disturbingly, the culture of impunity is more rampant," noted Guan, adding that the fact that the perpetrators remain scot-free "shows how the government protects and covers up their messes."

Guan called on the government to release the names of the policemen involved in the abuses.

Benedictine nun Mary John Mananzan, a leading women's rights activist, said what is happening is "totally inhumane."

"The ones who are supposed to defend us violate the law and commit these crimes," said the nun as she appealed to abuse victims "to expose these crimes" and file charges.

"Do not be afraid. Victims or their families can come directly to us. We can provide legal assistance and protection," the nun said. 

Guillermo Eleazar, police director in the National Capital Region, said the Philippine National Police "would show no mercy" to members of the force involved in abuses.

"[We] will not tolerate such abuses and we will bring all perpetrators to justice," said Eleazar, adding that the "56 rotten minds" constitute only 0.03 percent of the 185,000 strong police force.

"We will not allow them to deface this institution," said the police general.

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