Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has filed a measure which seeks to hire more female cops in the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that men and women have equal opportunities in joining the police force.
In filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 2213 which seeks to amend Section 58 of Republic Act No. 8551, or “The Philippine National Police Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998,” De Lima said she believes that the presence of more women police officers can improve PNP’s capabilities in preventing violations and abuses of women’s rights.
“In the wake of reports of abuses by male officers against women and children in police custody, it is important that there is an increase in women’s representation in the police force which hopefully will result in a more responsive and committed police force towards preventing violations and abuses of women’s rights,” she said.
Since Mr. Duterte assumed office, 56 policemen have been involved in 33 state-perpetrated cases of violence against women as of 2018, according to the Center for Women’s Resources.
In November 2018, there was an incident of rape involving a teenager who was taken advantage of by a police officer who promised for the freedom of her parents who were detained on drug charges.
The former justice secretary noted that the amendment of the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998 is necessary because the law is not only discriminatory to women but is also not aligned with the commitments in the Magna Carta of Women.
“In 2009, Republic Act No. 9710, or the Magna Carta of Women, was enacted into law which seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women. One of the rights spelled out was the right of a woman to equal treatment of the law,” she noted.
Under SB No. 2213, there would be an incremental increase in the annual recruitment, training, and education quota for female police officers until the number of female personnel increases from 10 to 50 percent in the next five years.
As a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, De Lima said that the Philippines is obliged to take appropriate measures to ensure that “that every Filipino woman can enjoy her human rights and fundamental freedoms, without discrimination.”
In 2018, De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 930 urging the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to investigate the alleged sexual advances perpetrated by law enforces against women and children relatives of detainees.
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