Gabriela denounces harassment of women at checkpoints

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Gabriela denounces harassment of women at checkpoints
A policeman wearing a facemask stands guard at a checkpoint after the government imposed an enhanced quarantine as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Manila on March 25, 2020.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Women’s Party condemned the harassment of a woman perpetrated by a law enforcement personnel at a quarantine checkpoint in Makati as it called on the government to investigate the abuses allegedly committed by the military and the police.

Gabriela made the statement Friday after Interkasyon reported the account of a woman who was harassed in a checkpoint during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.

The woman said she gave her driver’s license and quarantine pass to a law enforcement officer when she passed through the checkpoint. But when she got her license back, she discovered that the military personnel inserted his number.

The woman also said that when she refused to remove her helmet and face mask, the officer replied: “O bakit? Pulis ako!” (Why? I am a cop!)

When her tweet went viral, similar stories of alleged harassment also surfaced on social media.

“Since when did giving your personal phone number to an AFP-PNP personnel become a quarantine pass just so you could proceed through a checkpoint? Women are already at heightened risk of violence and abuse amid the intensifying containment measures and the AFP-PNP are making the situation even worse than it already is,” Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Party-list) said.

Brosas said the incident illustrates that the Philippines “has the worst case of police and military abuses perpetrated at the height of a virus outbreak.”

“It also speaks of how Duterte’s brand of brazen misogyny is being imbibed and exercised by the police and military forces,” she added.

Safe Spaces Act

It is illegal to force anyone to disclose their personal details such as “name, contact and social media details or destination” under the Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act.

It is also prohibited for someone to make any kind of advance—whether physical or verbal—that is deemed “unwanted” and has “threatened one’s sense of personal space and physical safety.”

Those found to violate the law can be penalized for up to P10,000 and face imprisonment for up to 30 days.

“May I remind the police and military forces that the law is not suspended and those who man checkpoints are not immune to it,” Brosas said.


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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

Photo shows members of the Philippine National Police deployed in Manila amid COVID-19 threat. The STAR/Edd Gumban

President Rodrigo Duterte on March 16, 2020 declares an enhanced community quarantine over all of mainland Luzon, an expansion of an earlier general community quarantine over the National Capital Region.

The entire National Capital Region—16 cities and a municipality—is under community quarantine from March 15 to April 14, which means the enforcement of social distancing measures like letting fewer people on public transportation, reduced store hours, and the possibiity of curfews.

According to a memorandum issued by the Palace on Saturday, March 14, the quarantine means that "movement of people shall be limited to accessing basic necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points."

Travel restrictions in and out of the capital will also be implemented.

March 27, 2021 - 8:09pm

A labor group says another lockdown will never resolve rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines after the government announced that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under the enhanced community quarantine starting Monday.

“The Duterte government seems to be deliberate in focusing its efforts in imposing quarantine and lockdown measures instead of addressing the rising cases of COVID-19 and the worsening state of the pandemic through medical solutions and scientific approach,” says Defend Jobs Philippines.



March 27, 2021 - 7:06pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the implementation of enhanced community quarantine is meant to slow down the increase of COVID-19 cases, so hospitals and health workers will not be overwhelmed.

March 27, 2021 - 6:37pm

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announces that Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal are placed under enhanced community quarantine starting Monday, March 29.

January 19, 2021 - 6:04pm

Tuguegarao City will be placed under enhanced community quarantine from January 20 to 29 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba approved the request of Tuguegarao Mayor Jefferson Soriano to place the city under ECQ for 10 days.

According to the Cagayan Provincial Information Office, the city currently has 246 active cases.


Posted by Cagayan Provincial Information Office on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
April 29, 2020 - 7:51pm

Batangas, one of the provinces hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, has reported no new cases of the disease for two consecutive days.

The provincial DOH Office says the number of COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 91 with no new cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

Lipa City has the most cases with 26, followed by Batangas City (21) and Nasugbu (11).

Tanauan City has the fourth most cases with eight, followed by Bauan (5) and Alitagtag (3). Cuenca and Sto. Tomas City had two cases each, while the municipalities of Calaca, Lemery, Lian, Lobo, Mabini, Mataas na Kahoy, Padre Garcia, San Jose, San Juan, San Pascual and Taal had one case each, respectively. — The Filipino Connection

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