Female Philippine prisoners forced to sit with officers during drinking sprees
Summary of story from philSTAR August 25, 2011
Female inmates at the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame are being taken from their cells at night and forced to sit with officers during drinking sprees according to Gabriela, a Filipino alliance of women’s organisations.
Gabriela Rep. De Jesus made the disturbing claims during a hearing on the proposed 2012 budget for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which has jurisdiction over the PNP in the House of Representatives.
“News of the cases of sexual harassment against women inmates is alarming and Gabriela takes serious concern on this. We will organize fact finding missions to monitor the situation of women inmates and ensure that their rights and welfare are being upheld,” she said.
In addition de Jesus also informed Rosendo Dial, chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) that her group had also received reports that female visitors to Camp Bagong Diwa were being “strip-searched” before being allowed to enter the prison.
“The BJMP should look into the cultural implications of this procedure, especially on women and our Muslim sisters, because we all know that body covering is part of their culture. There is a dehumanizing element in this procedure even if the officer conducting it is also a woman,” the Gabriela statement said.
Jesse Robredo, DILG Secretary, said that he will order an investigation into the matter.