PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday ordered his men to undertake measures to prevent women and child abuse amid the pandemic, which has triggered the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and some parts of the country.
In particular, he ordered the PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) and the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to be proactive in ensuring that the law on violence against women and their children will be fully enforced.
Eleazar assured that even if the PNP is tapped to implement quarantine guidelines, police have not been remiss in their duty to ensure peace and order in the communities.
“Medyo kumplikado ang isyu ng domestic violence dahil nangyayari ito sa loob ng tahanan kung saan off-limits na ang inyong kapulisan. Kaya gumawa tayo ng mga paraan para matugunan ito kabilang ang ating E-Sumbong kung saan mas pinadali natin ang paghingi ng tulong at pagrereklamo ng ating mga kababayan dahil mismong Facebook platform ay magagamit para sa police intervention,” he said.
“Ginagamit din natin ang mga social media accounts ng inyong PNP upang magbigay ng paalala, payo at kung ano ang mga dapat gawin para sa mga biktima ng domestic violence. 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,” he added.
The top cop issued the order after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian expressed concern that incidents of violence against women and children (VAWC) could spike amid the ECQ similar to what happened last year.
The lawmaker said the current difficult situation being experienced by the public could result in high incidence of domestic violence.
However, Eleazar said he has already instructed concerned police units specifically the PNP-ACG and the PNP-WCPC 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 said police units should be proactive in preventing all forms of exploitation and VAWC, including those committed on the internet and social media.
“Kailangang matutukan at masusing maimbestigahan ang bawat reklamo hinggil sa VAWC. Hinihimok ko din ang publiko na huwag matakot dumulog sa awtoridad kung sila ay biktima o kaya ay may alam na insidente ng pangaabuso. Kailangan nating magtulungan upang mapigil natin ang mga violence and other forms or abuses sa loob ng tahanan lalo na sa panahon ng ECQ,” Eleazar said.