The militant Partido Manggagawa took issue with the stand of Senator Raffy Tulfo to amend the VAWC Law as codified his proposed Senate Bill 211 (SBN 211).
“Kinakailangan magpakita ng datos at matibay na batayan si Sen. Tulfo para magkaroon ng basehan ang kanyang panukalang baguhin ang VAWC para bigyan ng ispesyal na katayuan ang lalaki kumpara sa nanay at anak para mabigyan ng pantay na proteksyon at parusa sa SBN 211,” according to Judy Ann Miranda, Secretary-General of Partido Manggagawa (PM).
The group argued that a special law for women and children, such as the Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004, exists because domestic abuse against women and children has been pervasive and entrenched in Philippine society. Thus, it is not a law against men.
“We do not discount the fact that there may be men who are domestically abused by their wives/partners. In which case, there are provisions in the Penal Code (Articles 262, 263 and 265) and Article 72 of the new Family Code which they can use to file a complaint against their partners,” Miranda added.
The Philippines signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) July 15, 1980 and ratified it on August 5, 1981. After more than three decades, the problem remains.
At the global level, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2021) estimated that “1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime,” mostly intimate partner violence.
“However, it should be clear to us why there is a special law specifically on domestic violence for women and children. RA 9262 gives out the message that wife-beating is not a trivial matter in Philippine society and that these abuses warrant a guarantee of protection and support from the government. We do not want male violence that is pervasive and entrenched in our society to be safely ignored and ridiculed by a proposed bill that would warrant equal protection for men,” Miranda concluded.