NCRFW backs total war vs. drugs

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) has expressed its full and unqualified support for the total war against illegal drugs as ordered by President Macapagal-Arroyo.

NCRFW Chairperson Myrna T. Yao said that the illegal drug trade that has now become a national menace has been victimizing women and young children.

Statistics from law-enforcement agencies showed that there are now some 3.4 million users of prohibited drugs in the country and that the illegal drug trade is valued at between P150 million to P300 million a year.

According to Chair Yao, some women drug users or peddlers are unwilling victims because they have been forced to go into the trade by their husbands or live-in partners. Young children are also being used as couriers by parents who are into drug trafficking.

Chair Yao said that these acts are penalized under Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.

RA 9262 penalizes the commission of domestic violence against women and their children (VAWC) and this could include forcing them to engage in illegal activities.

VAWC is defined as any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife and their children either legitimate or illegitimate.

Violence against women and children, the law says, is likely to result in their physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering and would limit their capacity to participate in social development.

Chair Yao said she was glad that earlier reports about the abduction and rape of the young daughter of an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) turned out to be false.

“But regardless of this development, the use and trafficking of illegal drugs should be stopped,” Yao said.

Chair Yao said that the NCRFW, the national machinery for the advancement of the Filipino women, has recognized the role of Filipino women in nation building and is committed to ensure that women’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.