By Aaron Recuenco
Personnel of the Lukban Municipal Police Station in Quezon province are now in trouble for posting a message in its Facebook page that practically blames women for rape and other forms of sexual harassments.
On Saturday, June 13, National Police Chief Gen. Archie Gamboa directed the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) to look into the victim-blaming post of the Lukban Municipal Police Station. “The Police Chief of Lucban Municipal Police Station and all personnel who may be involved will be made to explain why they allowed posting of such statements in their social media account that elicited negative reactions from the public for implied victim-blaming,” said Gamboa.
“They will be made to justify also why no administrative sanctions shall be imposed upon them for their actions despite earlier instructions to take down posts with similar content,” he added.
In its post dated June 11, the Lucban Municipal Police Station posted in its Facebook page a reminder that women should be loved and should not be subjected to abuse. But the problem was in the second paragraph of the post which read: “ Kayo naman mga gherlsz, wag kayo magsusuot ng pagkaikli-ikling damit at pag naman nabastos ay magsusumbong din sa amin. Isipin nyo rin! (And for you girls, don’t wear skimpy clothes because if you were harassed, you would be seeking our assistance. Think about it!).”
The post did not sit well with some netizens, particularly women who interpreted the posts as an insinuation that they are being harassed because of the way they dress. Critics said the manner women dress is not a problem but the lecherous mindset of some men who think that wearing skimpy dresses is a license for them to harass women.
Gamboa said he had already directed Maj. Gen. Dionardo Carlos, director of the Police Community Relations to take the lead in the investigation. “The PNP strongly advocates the protection of women and children and maintains a strict set of guidelines for its personnel on the use of social media,” said Gamboa.
“Violators may face administrative and even criminal charges, if evidence warrants”, he added. Earlier, Gamboa also ordered an investigation on the Facebook post of the CARAGA regional police that identified some militant groups as terrorists. He said that police commanders across the country should follow a set of guidelines issued by the PNP leadership in posting in their respective social media accounts.