CWR STATEMENT on the harassment and mistreatment of peaceful protesters at the DILG yesterday, July 16

We are alarmed with how a certain Noel Dumalag of the Emergency Operations Command of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shoved, harassed, and mistreated a number of women, among which are mothers, wives, and relatives of the victims of the Duterte administration’s bloody drug war, during a peaceful protest at the DILG yesterday, July 16.

The Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) urges the DILG and other government institutions to be responsible for such incidents and penalize Dumalag and other violators for possible violations of RA 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act. While enraging, this is not the first time women have experienced abuses while exercising their civil rights, especially from state agents who are expected to ensure their safety and protection.

Cases of violence against women by state perpetrators continue to increase.At least 61 arrests of women human rights defenders have been recorded since the beginning of the lockdown last March 2020 to the present. Moreover, at least 68 VAWC cases committed by police officers since July 2016 were monitored by CWR. In addition, the research institution has recorded at least 62 extra-judicial killings of women human rights defenders since Duterte came into power.

We continue to call out the Duterte administration for its failed drug war that has widowed and orphaned thousands of women and children, and for allowing and encouraging violence and misogyny to perpetuate.We urge our fellow sisters, wives, and mothers to speak out against all forms of harassment, and to continue to struggle unwaveringly for emancipation and justice.

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