PNP to probe 'victim-blaming' social media posts among its ranks

Ratziel San Juan - Philstar.com
PNP to probe 'victim-blaming' social media posts among its ranks
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 — Philippine National Police chief, Police Gen. Archie Gamboa has ordered the Directorate for Police Community Relations under PMGen Dionardo Carlos to investigate reports that official police social media accounts were used to post victim-blaming statements.

Victim blaming, as defined by the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, is "a devaluing act that occurs when the victim(s) of a crime or an accident is held responsible — in whole or in part — for the crimes that have been committed against them."

The PNP specifically mentioned the controversial Lucban Municipal Police Station which drew widespread backlash over the past week for a post that said women should not wear short clothing and then report sexual harassment to them.

“Recently, the Lucban Municipal Police Station social media post drew flak from netizens for allegedly being sexist,” read the Saturday PNP release.

“The Police Chief of Lucban Municipal Police Station and all personnel who may be involved will be made to explain why they allowed posting of such statements in their social media account that elicited negative reactions from the public for implied victim-blaming. They will be made to justify also why no administrative sanctions shall be imposed upon them for their actions despite earlier instructions to take down posts with similar content.”

Although the said station’s Facebook page is inaccessible as of writing, media and netizens have replicated the post through screenshots as seen below.

“The PNP strongly advocates the protection of women and children and maintains a strict set of guidelines for its personnel on the use of social media. Violators may face administrative and even criminal charges, if evidence warrants,” Gamboa said in the release.

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