Violence against Women, still a private matter

Dec. 31, 2014


Davao City – A YouTube video which was posted last August showing Davao City police chief shouting and hitting his wife started to go viral. By September 1, Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr.was relieved from his post. After one month, he was reinstated as the Davao City Police Office director.

The case of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) chief Danao is among the most controversial issues of the year.

The video runs for one minute and 19 seconds. It was posted by You Tube user Hudas Ka and has more than 40,262 views as of this writing Tuesday afternoon.

The post has already garnered 229 comments.

The netizen who posted the video commented that Danao should not be allowed to remain as DCPO chief.

“Senior Supt. Vicente Danao is reportedly inhumane even to his own family as depicted in the police blotters during occasions his battered wife sought help in the local police station,” Hudas Ka said.

“As depicted in this video, he still physically and verbally abuses his wife. A known womanizer and brutal officer, Senior Supt. Danao doesn’t deserve his current pedestal in the government,” it said.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was quick to question the removal of Danao from his post saying the incident was a “domestic problem” and had nothing to do with Danao’s job in securing peace and order.

Danao, himself, insisted that it was a “private matter”.

“Which spouses hadn’t had a fight?” he added.

One netizen named Chester Go on the other hand, believed that “the husband and wife matter should always remain a private matter.”

“We as human beings will never be perfect,” Go said.

Meanwhile, one Luna Kelly commented “Kahit naman nangaliwa yung asawa nya wala pa rin syang karapatan maging violent. Idemanda nya, hiwalayan nya (Even if his wife committed adultery, he doesn’t have the right to be violent. He could sue her or leave her).”

“Pulis sya, dapat alam nya ang batas (He’s a police, he should know the law),” the comment added.

On October 29, Susie Danao, filed a criminal complaint against her husband for the alleged physical and verbal abuse against her and their children between 2002 and 2003.

Mrs. Danao was accompanied by her lawyers and Gabriela partylist representative Luzviminda Ilagan.

Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 was signed on March 8, 2004 and took effect last March 27, 2004.

But should wife-beating be treated as a private issue among husbands and wives?

According to the law, Violence Against Women is defined as “any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child , or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate , within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

This year, the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI recorded an increase in administrative cases filed against police officers.

PRO recorded a total of 114 administrative cases which include negligence of duty, violence against women and their children, and grave misconduct.

Representative Ilagan said that “There is no such thing as private domestic matter when it comes to domestic violence.”

“Danao should know this because he is a law enforcer. In fact under the law, anybody can file charges against the perpetrator. Danao should be suspended for conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman,” Ilagan said.

Davao City councilor and chair of the women and children’s committee, Leah Librado agrees with Ilagan.

“Suspending Danao is a strong statement that no one is above the law and that it is a steadfast commitment of the city in upholding the rights and welfare of women,” Librado said.

Librado added that Danao’s action tarnished his position as head of the city police.

“A law enforcer who is also a violator of the law has no moral ascendancy to serve justice and protect the people especially women and children,” she said.

“Perhaps the mayor will realize Danao is not helping at all in maintaining Davao City’s gender sensitive image,” said Ilagan.

Davao City was the first to approve the landmark legislation, City Ordinance No. 5004 or the Women Development Code of Davao City on September 15, 1995.

According to Article 1 Section 2 of the ordinance, “Women shall be recognized as full and equal partners of men in development and nation building and men shall share equally with all forms of productive and reproductive activities.”

Last February 14, 3,000 individuals gathered in Rizal Park to join the global One Billion Rising for Justice campaign.

Among the participants was Duterte himself.

“We should treat women with dignity, they needed to be respected not because they are women, but because they are human beings,” he said

But when domestic violence involves a high police official, the city mayor, it appears would rather keep it a private matter. (

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