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Women’s group wants ‘palit-puri’ ploy probed

Oriang says scheme fueled by war on drugs and Duterte’s disrespect for women
/ 05:11 AM November 10, 2018

The women’s group Oriang on Friday called for a thorough investigation into the “palit-puri” scheme within the Philippine National Police which involves the rape of female detainees and female relatives of detainees in exchange for freedom or dropping of charges.

Oriang also demanded that the government halt its bloody war on drugs, which, according to the group and the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women in Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), has worsened the sex-for-freedom scheme.

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“This palit-puri or the sex-for-freedom scheme of the PNP is fueled by this administration’s war on drugs and the president’s blatant disrespect toward women,” said Oriang, whose members stormed Camp Crame on Friday.

“The President’s banters intensify the harassment and abuses of men, especially those who can instill fear toward women and children while Oplan Tokhang provides avenue for these men to go and manipulate vulnerable sectors of the society,” the group added.

Oriang’s president, Flora Santos, called rapist cops “animals.”

“We could not let this pass. If we allow this to happen, more women would fall victim [to these policemen],” Santos said.

Known in street lingo as palit-puri, the sex-for-freedom scheme hogged the limelight again after a 15-year-old girl was raped by Sampaloc policeman PO1 Eduardo Valencia in exchange for her freedom and her relatives’ freedom.

The girl’s mother and stepfather were nabbed for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act on Oct. 25.

Santos said it was unacceptable that male drug suspects were being summarily killed or “tokhanged.”

What’s sickening further was the rape of women, either female drug suspects or their female relatives, as a bargaining chip for freedom.

Less than 20 Oriang members trooped outside Camp Crame on Gate 1 for the protest.

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While the number was small, Santos, who spoke using a microphone, vowed that Friday’s movement was only the first.

“There would be more [street actions],” she said.

Above the protesters, an LED screen was flashing a birthday greeting, together with a photo of PNP chief Oscar Albayalde. It was the top cop’s 55th birthday.

In a press conference on Monday, Albayalde dismissed Inquirer’s report on the findings of the CATW-AP about the rampant sexual abuse in the police force.

Albayalde called the report “harsh” and “totally unfair” as he insisted that the rape of the 15-year-old girl was “an isolated case.”

Two days later, two more policemen—Jayson Portuguez and Severiano Montalban III, both assigned to the Novaliches station—were slapped with rape for the same palit-puri scheme in Quezon City.

“It does not have to happen every day to say that it is already violating the rights of the people. The fact that these cases are happening within the ranks of the police—whose mandate is to serve and protect the people—means that we are not really safe anymore. This has to stop and the president should be accountable for transforming these men into beasts,” Santos said in a statement.

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