PNP, PCW urged to protect women, children from domestic abuse amid COVID-19 quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2020   •   299

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) to be vigilant and keep their lines open for women and children who may become victims of domestic abuse amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being enforced against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, Hontiveros expressed fears over possible surge in domestic abuse cases in the country due to proximity and added stress because of economic hardship brought about by the public health crisis.

“The quarantine is difficult for all of us. But it is a living nightmare for women who are trapped with their abusers behind closed doors,” she said.

“Because of the proximity in the home and added stress due to economic hardship brought by the enhanced community quarantine, Filipino women and children who are living with their abusers become more vulnerable to violence,” she added.

Hontiveros, who also serves as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Gender Equality, and Family Relations, cited global reports on the rising incidence of domestic abuse in cities and countries that have implemented ECQ and other similar measures against COVID-19.

“There is a pattern. For places that have implemented a lockdown, from China to France, there is an increase of domestic violence in cases reported to the authorities,” the senator said.

The quarantine in Luzon has been extended to April 30, and while it is necessary to fight the crisis, Hontiveros said authorities must work doubly-hard and strengthen anti-domestic violence measures to ensure the protection of women and children.

“The lockdown should not allow us to become lax in securing the safety of women and children. The challenge now is to make sure that channels are open and are readily-available to victims of domestic violence,” she said.

“We need the local government units, the PNP, and PCW to remain vigilant. At-risk women and children should know that they can ask for help even during quarantine,” she added.

Aside from setting up helplines in barangays, she also suggested that LGUs consider preparing safe houses for vulnerable women and children.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Hontiveros said that one in four women aged 15 to 49 has experienced sexual, physical, and emotional abuse from a husband or partner.

“Those who are living with domestic abusers are suffering from multiple forms of trauma during this pandemic,” she said.

“During this very difficult time of COVID-19, let us work harder in keeping our women and children safe,” she added.

50 Chinese nationals arrested for illegal POGO operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

Fifty Chinese nationals were arrested by the Makati City Police on Monday (July 6) for working in an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) firm.

The Makati City Police conducted an operation in Barangay Pio del Pilar after receiving complaints from residents about an illegal gambling operation.

NCRPO director Police MGen. Debold Sinas said various electronic devices including laptop computers, cellphones, and wifi routers were seized in the operation.

The arrested Chinese nationals will face various charges, such as violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, violation of RA 10176, and violation of article 515 in relation to RA 11332, as well as the city’s general community quarantine guidelines. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Two cops arrested for extorting money from tricycle drivers in Bulacan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) on Monday (July 6) arrested two policemen for extorting money from tricycle drivers in Bulacan.

PNP-IMEG Spokesperson PCapt. Mae Ann Cunanan said the agency has been receiving numerous reports since 2019 against two policemen and two civilians extorting from motorists.

Based on reports, the cops would demand payment from motorists in exchange for redeeming their licenses instead of only issuing a citation ticket.

“Kapag hinuhuli nila iyong mga traffic violators, mga tricycle drivers ay hindi nila ini-issue ang ticket. Instead, kinukuha nila iyong pera kapalit nito iyong pagtanggal na sa kanilang violation, (When they apprehend traffic violators and tricycle drivers, they will not issue a ticket. They would take money instead in exchange for removing the violation),” she said.

Cunanan identified the two policemen as PSMgt. Vic Godwin and Pat. Jay Mark Tuazon who are assigned in Malolos City Police Community Precinct 5. The two civilians who served as their middlemen were identified as Wendell Mendoza and Kenneth Villena.

The suspects will be charged with robbery extortion while the two policemen will have additional administrative cases and grave misconduct. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Duterte to meet with AFP, PNP commanders following Jolo incident

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fly to Mindanao to meet with top officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the wake of the killing of four soldiers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.

Año, however, did not disclose the date and place of the president’s upcoming meeting with police and military commanders.

The Interior Secretary, who supervises the PNP, also said that Duterte may possibly talk to nine policemen involved in the shooting of soldiers.

“The president is going to the south to talk to our PNP and AFP commanders, sabi ko nga kung may time pa siya ay kakausapin niya yung mga suspek,” Año said.

Malacañang said the president was saddened by the incident between the police and military officers.

He has also ordered for the National Bureau of Investigation to expedite the release of its probe findings.

The Palace also denied that the incident is the result of the alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration as claimed by former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Hindi po natin kinukunsinte ang patayan kaya nga po masinsinang imbestigasyon ang ginagawa natin dito sa pagpatay sa 4 na sundalo sa hukbong sandatahan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Año echoed Roque’s statement as he assured that those responsible for the Jolo incident will be held accountable.

“Extrajudicial killing is not the policy of this government and the Sulu incident, we will exact justice and make sure those responsible shall be accountable, umasa kayo diyan. Ako mismo ang personal na nag-follow up ng kaso,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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