Judge wants Davao Norte govt to put up center for abused women

Jul. 03, 2007

By Jean Duron-Abangan

TAGUM CITY—– A lady judge urged Monday the provincial government of Davao del Norte to put up a crisis center management to serve abused women.

Speaking during the Monday Convocation sponsored by the Regional Trial Court Branch in Davao del Norte, Judge Rowena Apao-Adlawan of Branch 30 made the call upon noting that there are no such facility in the province.

She even offered her expertise in setting up a crisis center for women.

But officer-in-charge of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Arlene Semblante in a separate interview, revealed that the province used to run the Women Development Center located at the Technology and Livelihood Development Center (TLDC) compound.

It used to be a pet project of Governor (Rodolfo) del Rosario but it was closed (during the previous administration). Its budget was not approved, she said.

Semblante bared plans of pushing its reopening. We are strongly pushing for the reopening of the women center under the present administration, she said.

Named as Women Development Center to cast no stigma on the institution, it used to serve battered women, victims of rape and other forms of violence, including sexually abused children.

Meanwhile, Judge Adlawan wanted the public to understand that the Republic Act 9262 otherwise known as Anti-violence against Women and Children or Anti-VAWC law, as a reminder that women are not objects; they have feelings and deserve to be treated with respect.

We have established important roles in our society today, she said.

She explained the law to have provided a certain balance of the inequality between men and women in a society where women are categorized as weaker sex.

Adlawan bared a provision of the law that would exempt women from criminal liability for killing her husband if found suffering from battered women syndrome at the time of the commission of the crime.

Women could also be meted with lesser punishment for killing her husband caught in the actual act of sexual intercourse with another woman not his wife, Judge Adlawan said.

Judge Arlene Palabrica of Tagum City Court in the same forum shared ideas on gender sensitivity which she described not as a leverage for women to get even or overpower men but as a principle of respecting each other.

To be gender sensitivity is to follow the golden rule. Do unto others what you like others may do unto you, she said.

In response, returning Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario, in the same forum, noted as a good beginning of his administration to talk about women empowerment which he said, had been an integral part of the Gender Responsive Comprehensive Development Program he launched in 1998.

He said his previous administration as the provincial governor had been working in line with gender responsiveness and that in his present term, he has plans of giving women, seats as department heads provided, they are equally qualified.

Del Rosario also disclosed his strong adherence to gender and development (GAD) which he said, had earned him a moniker The Father of GAD.

Indeed, we must recognize and respect women as they are very talented, he said. (PIA11/JMDA) (davaotoday.com)

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