DAVAO CITY – The wife of Davao City police director Vicente Danao has sought the help of militant women partylist Gabriela in her battle against spousal abuse.
This was revealed by Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan who said in a press conference that they are committed in taking the cudgels for Danao’s wife, Susie.
The issue of the police chief’s beating his wife surfaced after a video was uploaded on You Tube early this month. Danao declined to comment saying the issue was a private matter.
Ilagan said Susie has filed reports of Danao’s battering and has written complaints to Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas.
“We are taking the cudgels because there has been no action from the DILG,” Ilagan said.
Ilagan said the case is timely as Roxas will face Congress on a budgetary hearing on Thursday. She said she would bring the issue to his attention.
“I willl ask him firstly: with the many complaints filed in his office, what action can he do? Secondly, what intervention as DILG chief can he do when confronted with cases like this?”
Ilagan pointed out that Roxas has the capacity as head of the National Police Commission to hold jurisdiction on administrative cases involving police personnel.
“Susie e-mailed me and called me three times already. She told me this has been happening for a long time. Sadly, it shows that violence is a cycle,” she said.
Ilagan said Danao’s history of violence on his wife is “condemnable”, considering that he is the highest police official of the city.
Ilagan said the police director’s actions has implication on the image of Davao, which of late has been rocked with gender issues, including a comedian maligning Davao women during a Kadayawan Festival event.
“Davao City has a reputation for passing a women’s code that has been copied by other local government units. Our women code is serious; it was not passed merely as a decoration. We have to show that we live out the code, and we enforce the laws that we passed,” she said.
Ilagan said there is an option to file an administrative case against Danao. But she said what is best is for the police director to undergo the process of being heard out on his side.
“We are giving him every chance to defend himself, to explain why he did that (act),” she said.
Lawyer Romeo Cabarde of the Ateneo Public Interest Law (APILA) added that if a case prospers in court, it will be a battle of evidence, and the evidence that they have is the video.
“In Republic Act 9262 (Violence Against Women and Children Act), what is immaterial is the cause of the dispute. What is punished is the violence against the wife, therefore we have to prosecute the person. So far the video shows there were many forms of violence done against the wife, that would substantiate filing a case,” Cabarde said.
Cabarde noted that such case “shows the continuing culture of patriarchy that breeds violence.”
Gabriela Southern Mindanao chair emeritus Lyda Canson added that Danao violated three laws : the city’s Women Development Code of Davao, the Magna Carta on Women’s Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Canson reminded that what women groups primarily want is not Danao’s removal from his post, but rather for protection of women like Susie.
“The law does not say it will file criminal cases, but rather it asks for protection order for women so that they will be spared from further violence and will have support from government,” Canson said.
Ilagan said another action that her partylist can do is to propose a law that police officers should get a clearance first before they are promoted. Such a clearance should provide that they have not committed any act of violence against women. (davaotoday.com)