Gamboa urges victims of sexual abuse by cops to file case against perpetrators
Photo taken April 30 shows Police General Archie Gamboa delivering a public address.
Screengrab / Philippine National Police on Facebook
Gamboa urges victims of sexual abuse by cops to file case against perpetrators
( - May 22, 2020 - 11:27am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police urged victims of sexual abuse in the hands of law enforcement authorities to file cases against their abusers.

In a statement Friday, Police General Archie Gamboa said that the national police “takes strong exception to the sweeping allegation of sexual abuse of women by police frontliners.”

Rappler reported that a woman had to agree for sex with a cop to be allowed to pass a quarantine checkpoint. The woman in the story said the cops had long been threatening prostitutes and it only got worse during the lockdown.

Gamboa said the national police “takes these allegations seriously because we respect women and honor their role in society.”

He noted that policemen are called to become frontliners in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and “it is unfair that they become part of an unfounded generalization simply because of the criminal actions of a few.”

The PNP chief said that they do not tolerate abuse against women. “I strongly urge those unnamed sources to immediately report to the PNP and to file charges against suspected wrongdoers,” he added.

Gamboa stressed: “The moment a police officer commits a crime, he stops being an officer of the law and becomes a criminal, a sexual predator.”

This is not the first time that the police are accused of sexual abuse.

In 2018, a member of the Manila Police District was accused of raping the teen daughter of drug suspects in exchange for her parent’s liberty.

The incident prompted the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific to claim that “palit-puri” (sex-for-freedom) scheme had worsened under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to the Center for Women’s Resources, it has recorded 33 cases of violence against women committed by police officers since July 2016. — Kristine Joy Patag

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