MANILA - A party-list representative has a simple message for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte: don't trivialize domestic violence.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan said she does not agree with Duterte's opinion that fighting between Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr., chief of Davao City Police, and his wife is a private matter.
"We cannot say it is just a private matter because the domestic violence will continue...Kung ang away ay paglilinaw lang, dapat hindi hahantung sa pananakit na nakikita nang pamilya," she said.
"Let us not trivialize the issue. It must not reach the point of violence."
Danao was relieved from his post after a video of him shouting and hitting his wife went viral. He is currently facing a charge for alleged physical and verbal abuse filed by his wife last year.
Duterte earlier said the Philippine National Police should not have interfered in Danao's case but instead let the police official face the complaint.
He also said it is expected that couples will sometimes fight.
Ilagan said she backs Duterte that sacking Danao was a wrong move.
However, she also pointed out that the Davao police chief had been abusing his own kids who are both minors.
The party-list representative said she also understands why Danao's wife took years before reporting the abuse.
"She told us that she is afraid because of the position of her husband. That is exactly the experience of victims of abuse and it takes time for them to have the guts to report the violence," she said.
Mrs. Danao is currently staying in the US but will return to the Philippines to pursue her complaint.