Public uproar over police’ “rapist tagging” of Sorsogon teachers has caught the attention of higher PNP command to issue a public apology.
The said tarpaulins, posted by the Sorsogon City Police Station and the Sorsogon City Advisory Council sometime in March of this year, identified the teachers, among others, as “possible rape suspects”
In a statement Thursday, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar apologized to Sorsogon teachers who may have been offended by discriminatory tarpaulins that were put up in Sorsogon province as part of the information drive against sexual abuse.
The “rapist tagging” of teachers in the anti-rape campaign, Oplan Kontra Lupig, has caused indignation among the academe and education sectors, and protests snowballed in the social media.
Teacher and artist groups have protested the “rapist tagging”, while the PNP Provincial Advisory Council distanced itself from the campaign proponents, tossing the blame on the City police and Sorsogon City Advisory Council.
Deped Schools Division in Sorsogon vows to protect the teachers from “unfounded discrimination.”
The PNP Chief branded the move as “discriminatory” and “insulting.”
As he promised not to tolerate this mistake, Eleazar reminded all PNP personnel to be considerate with the outcomes of their actions, and be sensitive in every program that they will initiate.
Prior to Eleazar’s apology, the Sorsogon City police had apologized over the “faux pas”.
However, the Sorsogon City Advisory Council, a partner in the current Oplan Kontra Lupig campaign, did not make a public apology.
Eleazar noted that postings, whether tarpaulin or those posted in social media, should always be reviewed thoroughly.
“While I fully understand that the intention of the information drive is noble, it is clearly discriminatory and insulting to our teachers who have been working hard especially in this time of pandemic, and who have been serving as the second parents of our children,” PGen Eleazar said.
Citing information from Sorsogon Police Provincial Office Chief, Police Colonel Art Brual, PGen Eleazar said the tarpaulins were already removed.
The local police also coordinated with officials from the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to discuss the matter.
Still, the Sorsogon City police officials would be made to explain following this incident.
The PNP chief expressed hope that the incident would not adversely affect the ties between police officers and teachers in the common goal of attaining peace in the society.
” I sincerely hope that this lapse in judgment on the part of some of our personnel will not serve as a setback in our long-standing partnership towards a peaceful community and responsible citizenship,” he said. (with reports from PNP)