MAYOR Herbert M. Bautista said women in Quezon City filed 512 cases of abuse against partners last year.
What is good about this is that the abused and harassed women in the city were not afraid to lodge complaints before the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) of what men—including some of the city’s policemen—did to them.
QCPD records revealed 512 cases of violence against women (VAW) were filed at the city police force last year. This number is higher compared to 2016 when 484 VAW cases were lodged at the QCPD.
In effect, the increasing number of women’s complaints could be interpreted as the continuing trust to the QCPD since Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar assumed its top post in July 2016.
Journalists covering the city’s police beat were witnesses to Eleazar’s concern even on VAW.
Last year the QCPD director convinced a 21-year-old college student from the University of the Philippines in Diliman to come out in the open and file criminal cases against two QCPD cops identified as Police Officer 1 Domingo Cena and Police Office 2 Rick Tanguilan. Both were assigned at the QCPD Police Station 8 when the crime of catcalling took place along Katipunan Street.
In the same QCPD records, the acts of lasciviousness rose by 61 percent, while physical-abuse charges went down to 237 from 256.
Rape cases declined from 76 to 46.
Eleazar extremely appreciated the trust and confidence displayed by the abused and harassed women to the QCPD.
Eleazar, widely believed to be the next director of the National Capital Region Police Office, assured them and other women that the QCPD will surely do its job and responsibility.
Bautista looked at these numbers as positive, since the VAW issue has a positive improvement.
Bautista, however, strongly urged the abused and harassed women of Quezon City to express their “continued vigilance.”
In a news statement released by the Public Affairs and Information Services Office (Paiso), Bautista said “continued vigilance is needed in upholding women’s rights and addressing cases of violence against women.”
The Paiso said Bautista pointed out during the recently held State of the Women Address that his administration “has been successful in spreading awareness among the barangays especially in addressing cases of violence against women.”
This encouraged many women to report incidents of harassment and abuse to the QCPD compared to the previous years.
“It could be that more people are speaking up and reporting abuse because of higher awareness of legal rights and avenues for recourse. I hope the Women’s Desks in our police precincts are always manned by well-trained women with high respect and knowledge about women’s rights,” Bautista said.
Another accomplishment of the Bautista administration on women’s concerns was “advancing women’s rights.”
The Paiso said the Bautista administration has “joined” the global movement for Safe Cities for Women and Children in Public Spaces. It said Quezon City was “the first local government in the Philippines to partner with UN Women to implement the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative.”
The city’s Sangguniang Panlunsod headed by Vice Mayor Josefina G. Belmonte expressed strong support to this partnership by approving and passing an ordinance that strengthened and solidified the city’s Gender Development Code.
The ordinance imposed penalties for sexual harassment and sexual violence against women in public spaces.
In addition to the twin accomplishments of the Bautista administration on women’s issues, it also convinced a big number of women to enroll in the city government’s vocational-development programs.
A total of 728 women enrolled in the vocational-development program, the Paiso noted.
Bautisa was elated over this high turnout of enrollees. “This is where we see the industry of our women sector.”
The Quezon City government further disclosed 2,718 more women applied for jobs than men; 1,145 more women were hired by employers than men; and there were 3,670 more new women entrepreneurs than men in the Bautista administration’s Sikap Buhay program last year.
In celebrating women’s month, Bautista strongly urged all women in Quezon City “to continue their vigilance in guarding women’s rights.”
Women should “constantly support the city’s projects that empower women,” Bautista said.
“We have to celebrate Woman’s Month every year to remind us that, in many areas, women’s achievements are undervalued; in many places, women are barred from opportunities they are well-qualified for, simply because of their gender,” he added.