A PhilHealth official who allegedly received a lap dance inside his office during his birthday party could be facing charges after women and labor organizations filed a complaint against him.
Eight groups asked the CHR to probe Philippine Health Insurance Corp. Vice President Paolo Johann Perez and employees of PhilHealth Calabarzon. In August, the Senate blue ribbon committee reported that the staff gifted Perez with a girl in her underwear who also gave the official a sexy dance.
The complainants claimed that Perez and several regional office employees violated Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.
They noted that the purchase of a woman by PhilHealth employees and the overlooking of such an act by Perez fundamentally showed that “women as a group can be treated as commodities which can be bought and used as entertainment for sexual pleasure.”
“In this instance as in many normalized instances of treating women as gifts to men and their portrayal as always sexually available to men, women’s rights to be treated equal in dignity is violated,” Jean Enriquez, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, said in a release.
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“Women and girls are reluctant to report sexual violence because of fear of being blamed since public officials normalize sexual objectification,” Ana Maria Nemenzo, Women Health Philippines national coordinator, also said.
The groups added the PhilHealth official, and employees also violated RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. RA 6713 mandates public officials and employees shall perform their duties with utmost responsibility, integrity, competence, and loyalty, act with patriotism and justice, lead modest lives, and uphold public interest over personal interest.
“RA 6713 also states that government resources and powers of their respective offices must be employed and used efficiently, honestly and economically, thus the use of PhilHealth office to display utter disregard for women’s rights should be accounted for,” said Judy Ann Chan Miranda, secretary-general of Partido Manggagawa.
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, Center for Migrant Advocacy, and the Foundation for Media Alternatives also joined in the filing of complaints against Perez.