The policeman who had allegedly raped an minor in exchange for the release of her parents who were apprehended for being drug pushers had responded to the police chief by saying what he did was “nothing new” in the police force.
PO1 Edgardo Valencia’s response, aired on live television, was criticized on social media with many saying that these are indicative of the abuses being committed by members of the Philippine National Police amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Valencia denied the allegations at first. But then he attempted to justify it to Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar that such act was normal in law enforcement when dealing with those involved in illegal narcotics.
“Sir, hindi na po bago sa ating mga operatiba yan ‘pag may nahuli tayong drug pusher,” (This is not new for our operatives when we arrest drug pushers), Valencia said to Eleazar.
These reports came amid the ongoing oral sex scandal probe within the PNP Academy that reportedly involved sons of ranking police officers.
Rape to clear the crime
People denounced Valencia for attempting to justify his actions to Eleazar during their televised confrontation last Sunday.
Eleazar personally went to Manila Police District Station 4, where Valencia is now detained, and berated him for his actions.
“Yung kalokohan na ginagawa mo kaya tayo nasisira dahil sa iyo!” Eleazer said.
Valencia, in response, denied the accusations and said that the victim, who was only 15 years old, could have been his own daughter.
He then said that the incident is “nothing new” to police operatives tasked in drug operations.
Filipinos perceived that his response was an admittance to a supposed police system of committing immoral acts against relatives of drug suspects.
ANG BABOY NG PNP! 😡
"Sir, hindi na po bago sa’ting mga operatiba ‘yung gano’n (panggagahasa) kapag may nahuhuli po tayong drug pusher, sir."
PO1 Eduardo Valencia admitted that it is normal for the police to rape relatives of those who are allegedly involved in illegal drugs. pic.twitter.com/Ekr7q7kuk6
— Roentgen (@ronaldgem) October 28, 2018
Twitter user @omidong noted:
“This is how fascism and patriarchy work hand in hand, folks. These two things are inextricably linked that the most vulnerable of its victims are disproportionately women who are poor.”
Others, however, expressed that the crime of one police officer can’t be generalized as the fault of every member of the police service.
May contribution yung matitinong pulis sa problem natin. Kung madami na sila, tingin mo, may mangyayaring maganda?
Depende na yun sa pagtingin mo. Ako kasi, I am still hanging on to this hope na may mangyayaring cultural change sa atin.
Ikaw? Wala na ba? If so, you lost hope.
— Jason (@jasonobrero) October 28, 2018
Based on reports, the victim’s mother claimed that when she and her partner was apprehended in the drug sting, Valencia and other law enforcers also took their daughter even if there are no charges against her.
Valencia and the other police officers then forced the girl to drink liquor while inside the police station.
Valencia later compelled the teenager to have sex with him to clear her parents’ names.
He initially offered her a ride home, but rather, took her to a hotel in Sta. Mesa where the supposed sexual abuse happened.
Scalawags in the police force
The PNP had since admitted that there are police men who are involved in illegal activities within the institution since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s illegal narcotics campaign.
Since last year, it had been conducting an “internal cleansing” to rid the country’s police force of rogue policemen or “scalawags.”
In January 2017, Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa, then PNP chief, had temporarily suspended the drug operations or “Operasyon Tokhang” to prioritize a directive from Duterte to clean up their ranks. The anti-drug program returned last November.
Last February, there were 398 police personnel dismissed from the service, based on data from the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management.
These dismissed members were among the 1,614 more with meted penalties for administrative offenses covering 2016 to 2018.
Last July, a total of 1,176 so-called police involved in illegal drug trade are being monitored by PNP’s Counter Intelligence Task Force.
With these numbers and reported incidents of police abuse, the PNP Internal Affairs Service decided to have another investigation or “lifestyle check” within the ranks.
IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said the PNP is doing everything it can to wipe out these police officers,
“Our approach now is holistic. We have preventive, punitive and restorative, especially those who could still be rehabilitated,” he said.