A House leader is calling on the national police force to embrace equality as far as its Women and Children Protection Desks (WCPDs) are concerned.
“As the new chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, I appeal to Philippine National Police Chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, to expand at the soonest possible time, the scope of the investigation jurisdiction of the PNP Women and Children Protection Desk to include the LGBT,” Bagong Henerasyon (BH) Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said.
LGBT stands for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The WCPD is the police unit that responds to and probes cases of abuse and violence against women an children.
“Although the Sexual Orientation or Gender identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality bills of the House and Senate have not yet become law, I believe the country’s laws against rape, sexual harassment, and human rights can be cited by the PNP as basis to include LGBT cases in the expanded scope of a Women, Children and LGBT Protection Desk,” Herrera-Dy said.
The lady lawmaker said that the PNP can also cite as basis its own Operations Manual, Criminal Investigation Manual and Human Rights Manual.
“A Women, Children and LGBT Protection Desk in the PNP would also be considered a pro-active measure on the part of PNP chief Dela Rosa and the rest of the PNP leadership, particularly on the protection of human rights,” pointed out Herrera-Dy.
She also said that the move would be a positive step to let the Filipino people know that their PNP cares about victims who belong to the LGBT sector.
“With a Women, Children and LGBT Protection Desk already in place, the Filipino people would be further assured that when the SOGIE Equality bills become law, its provisions would be immediately implemented by the PNP, and earn for the PNP the respect and support of the LGBT community,” the House leader further said.
“Lastly, I am hoping the Senate will prioritize their SOGIE Equality version, Senate Bill (SB) 1271, so that the LGBT community will gain from its anti-discrimination protections at the soonest possible time,” Herrera-Dy added.
The Lower Chamber passed its version of SOGIE on third and final reading in September 2017 via vote line of 198-0-0 (yes-no-abstain). The measure prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or SOGIE.
The current 17th Congress has Philippine legislature’s first ever transgender member in Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman.