‘Sex-for-pass’ victims in checkpoints have to come out in open court — PNP
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Monday said that victims of alleged “sex-for-pass” scheme in quarantine checkpoints would have to come out in open court so that complaints may be prosecuted against the perpetrators.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Gamboa was told that some of the victims of the nefarious scheme may be afraid to lose their privacy, while some may just opt to keep their ordeal confidential.
Gamboa said that the proceedings for administrative charges against cops who man the checkpoints, which will be filed by the PNP itself, may not be open to the public, but such is not the case for criminal proceedings were the victim has to personally identify the accused from the prosecution until it reached the court.
“Necessarily, the victim has to come out in open court… Kapag criminal kasi (if it’s a criminal case), the victim has to be presented to the court, unless merong ibang ebidensya na pwede siyang hindi na present (unless there is evidence where her personal appearance may not be required), so that the case can be prosecuted,” he said.
The PNP chief said that while he understood the predicament of the supposed victims, considering that a case such as it is personal between the victim and the suspect, the case cannot proceed without the testimony of a witness.
“Syempre alam natin yan naman usually na rape cases na ayaw nila lumabas kasi syempre mapapahiya sila sa publiko, paano ‘yung kanilang kinabukasan. (We all know that in rape cases, the victims usually are wont to come out in public, for fear of repudiation, or for their future). The PNP understands that… We understand the predicament that they have pero in any case that we want to pursue, there must be available witnesses to witness. Kapag ganito kasi (If the case is like this), it’s a crime done privately between the accused and the victim,” he said.
Earlier, a woman claimed in a news report that she was sexually abused by a policeman in exchange for passage to a quarantine checkpoint set up by law enforcers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gamboa said he will direct the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to communicate with the news website that reported about the alleged ordeal of the woman to encourage her to come out so that charges can be filed against the accused officer.
“Ito ‘yung promise ko sa kanya (This is my promise to her), we will keep it confidential in terms of administrative [cases] pero pagdating sa (but when it comes to) court, I cannot totally promise na hindi siya pwede i-present sa court because it might be vital for the prosecution of the case,” he said.
Nevertheless, Gamboa said the PNP will look at other ways on how to keep the confidentiality of the woman for the pursuit of the criminal charges.
If she is not comfortable with the CIDG, she will then be referred to the Women and Children Protection Center of the PNP, said Gamboa.
He added that if the woman’s claim is found to be true, then it will be a basis for the dismissal of the accused policeman.
Earlier, Gamboa also urged victims to file complaints against policemen involved in the alleged scheme, saying the PNP “takes these allegations seriously.”
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