2 cops who ‘profiled’ transwoman in Makati sacked
MANILA, Philippines — Two cops who allegedly conducted a “profiling” of a transgender woman in Makati City have been sacked from their posts after a video of her allegedly being harassed went viral on social media.
Makati police chief Col. Rogelio Simon identified the cops as patrolman Timmy Paez and Police Corporal Juliet Atal, who were accused of wrongfully implementing the city police’s anti-human trafficking program, which the erring cops had given the moniker “Oplan X-Men.”
Simon further clarified that the police force did not launch “Oplan X-Men” that targeted only the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Hindi namin sini-single out, hindi namin tinatarget ang community ng LGBT (We are not singling out or targeting the LGBT community),” he told reporters in an interview.
He said their anti-human trafficking program was aimed at rescuing victims of human trafficking, which they have been conducting as early as October last year.
Initial investigations showed that Paez and Atal were supposedly doing the rounds along Makati Avenue last February 14 when they accosted call center agent Anne Pelos, a transgender woman. The cops alleged invited Pelos to the police station for “profiling.”
Paez and Atal’s actions were caught on video by Pelos’ companions, who questioned why she has to be profiled in the first place. Paez claimed they had instructions to “profile” transgenders, but could not say for what.
The video, which was posted on Facebook, garnered about 187,000 views, and drew the condemnation of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia also said the incident “further highlights the violence and harassment experienced every day by the LGBTQI community because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Simon said that upon consultation with the leaders of the LGBTQIA+ community, the Makati police force will undergo a gender awareness program so that its policemen would have a better knowledge on how to approach individuals to invite them to their police station for profiling purposes.
He clarified that police usually does profiling when there is a high occurrence of crime in the area. However, he admitted that there were several red flags in the way the cops approached their so-called subject, based on the video.
“That’s the reason why I immediately relieved yung dalawang pulis, yung lalaki at babae. Immediately, after kong mapanood, nakita kong may mali. In the approach, sa gawa, sa manner ng pakikipag-usap niya. Kahit sino mababastusan. Pangatlo, parang di niya alam yung sinasabi niya,” said Simon.
In a separate press conference on Monday, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said that he saw nothing wrong with the Makati cops’ invitation to the transgender woman for profiling purposes.
He explained that such police action is okay as long as the subject person for profiling would agree to it and would not be forced to do so.
Gamboa, a lawyer, pointed out that civilians can deny a police officer’s invitation for profiling.
Remember, as Filipinos, you have the right to refuse and it should not be taken against you. Probably, ‘di ko lang pinangungunahan ha, baka merong study or survey,” he said.
(Let’s say for example they are inviting people. Remember, as Filipinos, you have the right to refuse and it should not be taken against you. Probably, I don’t want to preempt, but maybe they are conducting a study or a survey.)
Edited by EDV
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