Palace belies women officials perceived to be critical of Duterte unfairly treated
Malacanang said on Friday women officials who are perceived to be against President Rodrigo Duterte are not unfairly treated by the administration.
During his press briefing in Tarlac, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was asked about the alleged violation of the president of the Constitution and the Magna Carta for Women as far as detained Senator Leila de Lima, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are concerned.
"It's not true that they experienced unfair treatment," Roque said as he underscored the government's observance of Women's Month.
In the case of De Lima, he said she has to undergo a process because she has been accused of a capital offense.
But he said De Lima still enjoyed the presumption of innocence on charges hurled against her since the court has yet to decide on her case.
De Lima has been accused of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 for her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary of the previous administration.
In the case of Sereno, she has been facing an impeachment complaint at the House of Representatives. She has also been pressured to take an indefinite leave due to the move to oust her.
While Malacanang distances itself from Sereno's case, her camp has been accusing the president of being behind the move to impeach her.
Roque said it was Sereno's colleagues in the Supreme Court that asked her to go on indefinite leave.
As for Carpio, Duterte slammed her last year when the Office of the Ombudsman launched an investigation on his alleged ill-gotten wealth. The probe was dismissed after the Anti-Money Laundering Council refused to provide valid information to the Ombudsman.
Roque said the public should not take Duterte's words against women literally, such as when she ordered the military to "shoot the vagina" of the female members of the communist New People's Army.
He said Duterte has been serious in advancing programs for the Filipino women in the country.
He cited the "pro-feminist policies" of Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City.
"When he became President, President Duterte signed EO (executive order) No. 12 to attain and sustain zero unmet need for modern family planning through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act. The president even banned the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait to protect our kababayans, most of whom are women who are prone to abuse," he said.
"The president does not promote violence against women. Our people, especially the residents of Metro Manila, now feel safe in their place because of the campaign against illegal drugs. Rape per the Philippine National Police figures has gone down by 13.53 percent to 8,114 in 2017 compared to 9,384 incidents in 2016," he stressed. Celerina Monte/DMS