VAWC raps vs Region-6 cops on a downtrend

CASES of violence against women and their children (VAWC) filed against police officers in Western Visayas are decreasing, Police Regional Office-6 records indicated. (DG file)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

CONTRARY to the national record, the number of Western Visayas policemen facing violence against women and their children (VAWC) has been on a downward trend.

The audit report of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6)’s Regional Women and Children’s Protection Desk showed that it only received 14 VAWC cases from Jan. 1 to July 15, 2019.

Seven respondents hold the rank of Police Staff Sergeant, four are Police Corporals, two are Patrolmen, and one Police Lieutenant Colonel.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said that only three cases involved economic abuse while 10 were accused of abuses under Republic Act No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004).

Under the law, economic abuse refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent which includes, but is not limited to:

  • withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity;
  • deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the right to the use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common;
  • destroying household property; and
  • controlling the victims’ own money or properties or solely controlling the conjugal money or properties.

Malong said policemen facing RA 9262 complaints could be involved in physical, psychological, sexual, or verbal abuse.

Meanwhile, one of the seven Police Staff Sergeants is facing a rape complaint.

In 2017, RWCPD said it has received complaints against 63 policemen, most of whom are Patrolmen. Five of the 64 respondent cops were ranking officers.

The following year, the number of policemen facing VAWC complaints dived to 44, who were all non-commissioned officers.

There could be several reasons for the decrease.

But Malong theorized that some women opted not to pursue criminal cases because they urged them to file administrative and criminal charges against these policemen.

Also, policemen are now more circumspect on the possible charges they would face once they abandon their obligation.

As such, “they would rather settle it before it reaches us or their superior,” she said.

Malong said the complainants ranged from wives, mistresses, girlfriends, and ex-girlfriends.

Earlier, the PNP National headquarters revealed that the number of complaints slapped against unfaithful husbands in the police service has awoken to 40 percent after salary in the uniformed service was increased.

Most of the complaints filed by estranged wives and mistresses involved financial support to their children.