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Police told to be proactive vs violence against women and children during ECQ

Philstar.com
Police told to be proactive vs violence against women and children during ECQ
"Kaya hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na pagkatiwalaan ang inyong PNP sa isyung ito. Alalahanin natin na walang mang-aabuso, kung walang magpapa-abuso," PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has ordered its Women and Children Protection Center and Anti-Cybercrime Group to take measures to prevent violence against women and children or VAWC amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine in some parts of the country.

To recall, the PNP itself was on the receiving end of criticism after a report by Rappler documented incidents of quarantine checkpoint officers exploiting and abusing sex workers passing through on the way to clients.  

Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, in a statement Monday said that even if the PNP is tapped to implement quarantine guidelines, police personnel "have not been remiss in their duty to ensure peace and order in the communities."

“The issue of domestic violence is quite complicated because it happens inside the home where your police are off-limits,” Eleazar said as he urged Filipinos to reach out to authorities online through the E-Sumbong platform or on social media.

"We also use the social media accounts of your PNP to provide reminders, advice, and what to do for victims of domestic violence."

RELATED: Over 4,200 cases of violence vs women, children reported during COVID-19 lockdown

This comes after Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian expressed concern that incidents of VAWC could spike amid the ECQ, similar to what happened last year. 

Gatchalian said the restrictions and stay-at-home orders could result in a high incidence of domestic violence. 

Eleazar also said that he has already instructed the concerned police units, particularly the Anti-Cybercrime Group and the PNP Women and Children’s Protection Center, to undertake measures to prevent and address crimes against women and children now that a large part of the country is under the strictest form of quarantine.

He also urged police units on the ground to be proactive in preventing all forms of exploitation and violence against women and children, including those committed on the internet and on social media. 

"Every complaint regarding VAWC needs to be focused on and thoroughly investigated," Eleazar said.

“I also urge the public not to be afraid to approach the authorities if they are victims or know of an incident of abuse. We need to work together to prevent violence and other forms or abuses within the home especially during ECQ,” Eleazar said.

READ: PNP Women and Children Protection Center defends performance from complaints online

He did not address cases where authorities themselves were perpetrators of abuse—many of which he has outright denied or asked the public to allow investigations to conclude first. 

According to Rappler's report, women and men alike were forced to offer sex to cops just to pass through quarantine checkpoints. 

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

PNP

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