MANILA- Policemen on Thursday were reminded of operational procedures and gender sensitivity when conducting body search during operations.
Philippine National Police spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao warned policemen against intrusive body searches in their conduct of police operations, especially on women and children.
The reminder was brought about by allegations of an 11-year-old girl that policemen indecently touched her in a street in Sampaloc on Monday night.
"Because of the incident, I would like to remind all the members of the Philippine National Police particularly those directly involved in the anti-criminality operations of the existing police operational procedures in patting down suspects during [the] search of a weapon or any contraband," Bulalacao said.
The Revised Police Operational Procedures state that "when reasonable suspicion justifies a pat-down search, the search should be performed with due caution, restraint, and sensitivity."
"Especially when the person to be searched is a lady, woman or a girl," Bulalacao said.
"Itinuturo yan sa mga trainings eh na dapat maging sensitive sila sa gender especially kung babae ang kanilang ise-search dapat may kasama silang babae na mag-se-search doon," he added.
Bulalacao said there was a lapse in the operation.
"We admit that there was a lapse on the part of those who searched that 11-year-old girl during the anti-drugs operation," Bulalacao said.
He, however, noted that based on the CCTV footage, the place where the search was conducted was well lit "precluding possible suspicions of any attempt to conceal their actions."