As the country celebrates National Children’s Month this November and the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) beginning November 25 to December 12, Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra enjoined all prosecutors to expedite the resolution of all pending cases involving gender-based violence (GBV) and child’s rights offenses.
In a Memorandum dated October 15, 2020, Secretary Guevarra said the Department is targeting “at least 30% reduction of the pending GBV and child’s rights offenses” by October 15, 2021.
Further, the prosecutors were directed to submit a report concerning GBV and child’s rights cases pending in their respective offices particularly identifying the number of preliminary investigations conducted and resolved; the number of criminal complaints filed; and the rates of disposition, aging and successful prosecution, from 2018 until the 1st semester of 2020.
The prosecutors were also ordered to submit the report to the Planning and Management Service (PMS) until December 21, 2020. On the other hand, the PMS was directed to consolidate the reports and submit the same to the Secretary copy furnished the Office of Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar until January 15, 2021.
The National Children’s Month is celebrated annually in November pursuant to Republic Act No. 10661 (National Children’s Month Act). At the same time, the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence is observed annually beginning November 25 to December 12 as mandated by Proclamation 1172 series of 2006.
Secretary Guevarra’s directive to prioritize the resolution of cases involving GBV and children’s rights demonstrates the DOJ’s commitment to protecting the rights of women and children, and to ensuring access to justice for victims of GBV and child victims of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination.