Acknowledgement This thesis would not have been possible without the guidance and the help of several

individuals who in one way or another contributed and extended their valuable assistance in the preparation and completion of this study. First and foremost, our utmost gratitude to Ma‟am Rosemary Fernandez, our Thesis Instructor who not only shared her expertise on the subject matter, but also made it a point to ensure our development as individuals holistically as well; Ma‟am Tetchie Aquino, our Thesis mentor, who spent hours and hours of her day sharing to us her knowledge and expertise on the subject matter; Atty. Romeo Cabarde, humanitarian and gender-equality advocate, for sharing his ideas about the need for the legal system to incorporate gender-mainstreaming; Mr. John Harvey Gamas, our delightful teacher, for his unwavering support and belief in us; Ma‟am Belma Aquino, our beloved History Instructor, for her added insights and infinite enthusiasm; Atty. Arnold Abejaron, Ma‟am Roda Emilio, Ma‟am Mildred Megarbio, our Thesis pannel, for their comments and insights, stirring us to work at the highest and excellent level possible; The lawyers and judges of Davao City, our respondents, for their cooperation in the development of this thesis, for without them, nothing would manifest; Our classmates, the 4th Year International Studies-Asian Studies class, for not only the endless hours of fun and entertainment, but also for the little push everyone gives everyone to ensure that we all graduate at the same time; Last but not the least, our families and the one above all of us, the omnipresent God, for answering our prayers and giving us the strength to plod on despite my constitution wanting to give up and throw in the towel, thank you so much Dear Lord.

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Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the Study Human rights treaties often are followed by an Optional Protocol which supplements the main treaty by addressing substantive issues that are not covered by the previous treaties and develop mechanisms or procedures to address the violations of the rights set forth in CEDAW (IWRAW, 2008). The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (OP-CEDAW) is an international human rights instrument which addresses issues not covered by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Ratified on December 22, 2000, it serves as an individual complaint and inquiry mechanism to the Convention. Once individuals or groups of individuals have exhausted all available domestic remedies, they can file a complaint directly towards OP-CEDAW (IWRAW, 2009). The purpose of the Optional Protocol is to create procedures for individuals, other than state parties, to file a complaint against human rights violation. Two procedures are established by the Optional Protocol: an individual-complaints procedure and an inquiry procedure (Article 8). Article 2 allows individuals or group of individuals to submit complaints as victims of the State party of a violation of any of the rights set forth in CEDAW (IWRAW, 2009). Inquiry procedure allows the Committee to conduct investigation on the State Party involve in a grave violation of the rights enumerated in CEDAW upon provision of a reliable information (IWRAW, 2009). With these procedures, the Optional Protocol of CEDAW would help to ensure that all levels of government in a country will find domestic methods to set uniform standards in accordance with CEDAW, that it provides a “back-up” for domestic laws and policies and to ensure that these laws are just and effective (Demos and Segal, 2009).

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Karen Tayag Vertido was the first woman from Southeast Asia to use this procedure of the Optional Protocol. On the night of March 29, 1996, she boarded the car of a prominent Davao businessman who had offered to take her home after a meeting. The businessman was a leading figure in the Davao Chamber of Commerce, where Karen served as executive director. What was supposed to be a simple car ride home turned into a nightmare - her boss forcibly took her to a motel and allegedly raped her. On April 1, 1996, within 48 hours of the incident, she filed a complaint in which she accused her boss of raping her. On November 7, 1996, an arrest warrant for the man that violated her was issued. He was arrested more than 80 days later. The case remained at the trial court level from 1997 to 2005. Finally, after the 8 years, the Regional Court of Davao City came to a decision - the credibility of Vertido's case was questionable. And so they acquitted the accused (Jimenez-David, 2010). On November 29, 2007, Vertido wrote the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, claiming she suffered “re-victimization” after she was raped in that acquitting Custodio and was also evident on the failure of the Philippine government to exercise adequate measures in punishing acts of violence against women, in particular, rape, and that the decision was grounded in gender-based myths about rape and rape victims, and that it was rendered in bad faith, with no basis in law or in fact (MindaNews, 2010). The government, according to Vertido, “failed in its obligation to ensure that women are protected against discrimination by public authorities, including the judiciary” due to its negligence. In her communication to the OP-CEDAW in 2007, she stated: “I hold this state, the Philippines, accountable for rape… happening within its boundaries. I hold my state accountable for a judge who at best is ignorant about laws and the realities of women… I call on my state not to put such people to become judges, but only people who are truly capable of trying women‟s cases I claim restitution for having been violated first by one depraved man, and then later by a society that says it is okay to rape women…” (Vertido,2007).

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she said. The Senate of the Philippines. and an “extortionist” (Umil. chairperson on the Committee on Youth. 2010). Davao‟s media generally “treated” Vertido per se as a “bad person”. According to the Committee. said will “heed” on the recommendations of the Committee on CEDAW. resented by the community for accusing a prominent citizen of rape (Jimenez-David. Finally. 2010). ensuring that all legal procedures are impartial and fair and reviewing the definition of rape. lawyers. The Committee ruled in favor of Vertido and demanded that the Philippines be accountable for its unlawful actions and give her just compensation. the Philippine government was required to submit a written report within six months concerning what actions it had undertaken to implement the following recommendations (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). Karen also suffered pecuniary damages due to the loss of her job” (Bulatlat. Trainings for the judges. The unacceptable response of the society to her case made her and her two children relocate to Manila because they had become publicly recognizable in Davao. home of Women‟s Development Code of 1997 that ensures gender mainstreaming and development. With this 4 . Karen “has suffered moral and social damage and prejudices. an “adulteress”. Appropriate and regular training on CEDAW and its OP was highly mentioned. law enforcement officers and medical personnel in understanding crimes of rape were also included. It happened in Davao City. 2010. and that the judge's ruling was based on gender myths. Women and Family Relation. there is still room for improvement to further protect women against discrimination and to make our laws in line with CEDAW principles. The committee stated that the case's conclusion took too long to reach. 2010). in particular by the excessive duration of the trial proceedings and by the revictimization through the stereotypes and gender-based myths relied upon in the judgement.On July 16. The recommendations include implementing effective measures to guarantee that cases are pursued without undue delay. a “whore”. “Although the 1997 Anti-Rape Law already provides a broad definition of the crime of rape. through Senator Pia Cayetano. the OP committee published its assessment and recommendations on Vertido‟s case.

social structures. law enforcements. 5 . structure. economics and the law. Focusing on the legal aspect.attention the recommendations are getting. This study aims to look at the knowledge and perceptions of the lawyers and judges about the case of Karen Vertido. so as the constitution. The study hopes to answer the problem of gender mainstreaming in the Philippine society. but up to this moment the recommendations were not actualized by the government (MindaNews. 1992). it should have covered ample time to act on the recommendations. and on the recommendations of the OPCEDAW to the judiciary of the Philippine government. According to Schuler. Theoretical Framework This study on the knowledge. as a benchmark. she raised awareness about domestic violence through all the levels of the legal system. perceptions. that includes Courts. and culture. the legal system is comprised of substance. Substance will account for “what the law says”. 2010). It will also look on the recommendations of these legal professionals about the “gender-myths” mentioned in the communication of the OP-CEDAW and gender mainstreaming initiatives of the legal system in the Philippines. and identified the components that can account for gender violence. or the shared attitudes and behaviours toward the law (Schuler. and administrative agencies. It will also explore the influences of several sectors on Vertido‟s case and about the gender mainstreaming in the judiciary. Schuler (1992) identified numerous expressions of global gender violence while simultaneously discussing the many areas in need of reform: education. Structure stands for “how the law is applied”. and attitudes of lawyers and judges on OPCEDAW recommendations and Karen Vertido case is anchored on the “transformative legal justice” theory of Margaret Schuler (1992). Culture will account on “how the people regard the law”. that includes the laws. religion. politics. regulations.

there should be an empowerment and education to the people with regards to it (Schuler. Some of them are likewise gender insensitive and resort to victim blaming” (Avisado. If the problem would be from the structure itself. especially if respondent is well-known or is a famous or influential person. As Atty.This three will comprise the process on how the law is interpreted. implemented. If the problem is about what the law says. the three components can have certain problems and it must be dealt accordingly. the emphasis must be on abolishing it and creating more efficient ones. “Some public prosecutors reportedly badger complainants into settling cases. 2007). If there is something wrong on the people‟s behaviours and attitudes toward these. Therefore. With these. 1992). saying “despite the fact that we have a wide gamut of laws and policies in this country. Through Gender and Development (GAD) Programs of the government. Avisado indicated. . . However. gender empowerment has been receiving funds coming from different governmental agencies. by relating it to the Philippine legal system. and regarded in a certain society. Due to gender insensitivity some of them even blame the victims for the crimes committed against them. Transformative legal justice of Schuler. to be particular. there is a need to know through transformative 6 . Atty. carries with it the basic misconceptions on women in the Philippine society. 1992). 2007). among those in the legal practice. lack of sufficient knowledge of the substance by the structure as their implementing rules and regulations will hinder efficient implementation that can lead to a negative culture (Schuler. as used by Avisado. Avisado (2007) said gender mainstreaming and initiatives have been initiated by the governments and NGOs from both local and national level. Adoracion Avisado operationalized Schuler‟s theory. Some are even instrumental in the delay of case disposal. the strategy must focus on the engaging the improvisation of these institutions. gender mainstreaming seminars conducted by the government for legal practitioners have earned no significant support. the structures of justice are weak in the area of implementation” (Avisado.

2001). which is also the respondents on the said study. What is the socio-demographic profile of the judges and lawyers? 2. Statement of the Problem The research aimed to determine the knowledge. With the recommendations of the Optional Protocol of CEDAW. The research aims to know if gender myths are present in the legal system through the responses of the respondents. composed of legal professionals. It is also important to benchmark from this theory in assessing what part of judiciary is seen as preventive of gender mainstreaming. gender-bias free rulings and decisions in the legal system of the Philippines. if there are any. By assessing its components through this theory. perception and attitudes of the Davao City lawyers and judges regarding the recommendations of (OP-CEDAW) on the Karen Vertido Case. What is the knowledge of judges and lawyers regarding Vertido‟s Case and OPCEDAW Recommendations? 3. the study aims to assess the necessity of such like gender sensitivity seminars to indict a more open-minded. Specifically it aims to answer the following questions: 1. the study seeks to promote and raise awareness about the pressing need for gender mainstreaming in the legal system of the Philippines. What are the perceptions of judges and lawyers regarding the Vertido case and OPCEDAW recommendations? 7 . Transformative legal justice theory is relevant in this study that it first deals with the legal system.justice that gender sensitivity should be accommodated in the structure of the judicial proceedings and legal practices (Neimanis.

and attitudes of Davao City lawyers and judges on the recommendations of the OP-CEDAW will benefit the Commission on Human Rights in a way that it dealt with an individual case of women‟s rights‟ violence. What are the recommendations of judges & lawyers for the Philippine legal system. What are the limitations of the Vertido case and OP-CEDAW Recommendations as perceived by the judges and lawyers? 5. They will be empowered in establishing a more fair judicial system following the recommendations of the Optional Protocol of CEDAW.4. more transparent and speedier processing of trials in the local setting. sectors involved. perceptions. It will also benefit the judges in the court for they (through learning of different law practitioners‟ opinions on what are of judiciary needs to improve benchmarking from Karen Vertido‟s case) will be able to identify the ways of improving judicial decision-making. 8 . The lawyers are also deemed benefactors in the study due to the fact that they themselves are practitioners of the law. and the OP-CEDAW? Significance of the Study This study on the knowledge. helping to ensure the more effective. The lawyers and other law enforcement officers will benefit by using the findings of the study as supplementary knowledge to use in cases where domestic laws prove to be insufficient or inapplicable. Women will also gain something from this study. involving issues on gender that is relevant as a benchmark on cases with the same nature.

This will give women more chance and hope to defend their rights. The recommendations of the OP-CEDAW in response to the complaint filed by Vertido were the focus of the interview. The respondents were limited to a total of 20: 17 lawyers (9 male. and attitudes of these judges and lawyers on the case and recommendations aforementioned. 8 female lawyers) and 3 judges (2 male and 1 female). expanding their knowledge regarding international conventions and their domestic application. Scope and Limitations The study is a descriptive qualitative study that employed the use of in-depth interview (IDI) as a tool for data gathering. perceptions. To the government. bringing them on equal footing. thus creating a new source of knowledge for the program. eliminating myths and stereotypes that the Recommendations stated. It gives sufficient ample data to which the government can use to address the concern for the protection of its female constituent‟s rights. It will also serve as a primer for students when they dissect a legal case related to the international conventions and international law which the curriculum is offering. It covered 20 lawyers and judges. practicing or retired. This will clearly depict how international laws take part in the domestic setting. The International Studies Program of the Ateneo de Davao University will benefit from this study because of the additional information this research will yield. The Karen Vertido Case was used as the benchmark of the study. the study is deemed beneficial because it helps in creating an improved judicial system. This number was decreased from the original plan of 25 (20 lawyers – 10 male and 10 female and 5 9 . The study was limited to the knowledge. who are knowledgeable of the case.

The respondents were purposively selected through the snowball method. OP CEDAW. lawyers and judges. media and Non-Governmental Organizations Socio-demographic .judges) due to the respondents‟ busy schedules. The study was conducted in Davao City only.the awareness of judges and lawyers regarding the Karen Vertido Case Perception. and OP CEDAW regarding the progression of the Karen Vertido case Recommendation – points of improvement for the judicial system.insight of the judges and lawyers to the recommendations of the OPCEDAW Recommendations regarding the Karen Vertido Case Limitation – restrictions/difficulties faced by judicial system.refers to the sex and legal affiliation of the judges and lawyers 10 . Operational Definition of Terms The following terms have been defined operationally as used in the study: Knowledge. lawyers and judges.

This part is subdivided into three essential discussions about: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The gaps between global perception of justice and specific views in local contexts create a vital problem for human rights practices. The CEDAW monitoring process dedicated in using CEDAW norms for all situations and resists excuses for violations based on the particularities of local situations. Discrepancies between global law and local justice The law on human rights ventures to apply universal principles to all situations that are as consistent as possible. 11 . Local context is ignored in order to establish global principles. certain authorities were quoted by the researchers for the purpose of clarity on the subjects of the study related to the inquiries of this study. Optional Protocol of CEDAW A. and practice of an international human rights instrument to the domestic setting. According to Sally Engle Merry (2009). human rights interventions are framed within a particular vision of social justice based on a neoliberal privileging of choice rather than alternatives that could be more community. applicability.Chapter 2 REVIEW of RELATED LITERATURE This chapter presents related literature on the nature. the Optional Protocol on CEDAW (OP-CEDAW) and the Philippine experience related to the International Human Rights Instrument. Also. The CEDAW Committee of the human rights mechanisms bravely faces the challenge of applying conventional principles to specific cases.based or focused on socialist or religious conceptions of justice. a renowned anthropologist and author of “Human Rights and Gender Violence”.

early or forced marriage. While Nadera Shalhoub – Kevorkian. Another report discusses the problem in Cameroon. and the Justice System” by Anne McGillivray. India had been keeping its system of personal laws for different religious communities while Fiji for using traditional reconciliation. Israeli police officers put national security concerns first and then consider 12 . professor of Law and Brenda Comaskey a research associate mentioned that Aboriginal Canadian women were hesitant about turning to courts for help because of the gender discrimination they are experiencing. In the book “Black Eyes All of the Time: Intimate Violence. cited that both Hindu and Muslim women in India were subjected to unjust treatment due to religious norms and he even challenged the religious lawmakers and the government to frame a common civil code. para. Dalit women were experiencing serious human rights violations. 14 March 2001). Furthermore. The nation still allows discriminative cultural practices relating to female genital mutilation (FGM). . and polygamy (CEDAW Report 2000. the “bulubulu” procedure for rape.The researchers considered the reports in India and Fiji. translated through the lens of culture and religion. “Fiji‟s courts tend to treat rape and indecent assault as reconcilable in the same way as common assault and it is currently the only form of serious crime that can be reconciled. 55. Landlords use sexual abuse and other forms of violence and humiliation against poor Dali women to inflict “lessons”.Arab Center for Applied Research examined how unwilling Israeli police are in helping battered Israeli Palestinian women. author of Survey of Modern India: Religion and the Freedom Struggle.the Fijian custom of bulubulu is accepted by the courts as a reason not to impose a charge”(CEDAW/C/Fiji/1. 54). Merry (2009) criticized certain national. levirate marriage. . Raj Kumar (1999). director of the Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel. Aboriginal Women. local and cultural practices as oppressive to women.

Subsequently. National Policies. “…the implementation mechanisms associated with the human rights treaties were designed where in human rights interest interference was at its peak”. a human rights advocate. particularly for human rights victims. Nobody take this kind of domestic violence against women seriously not even the police. describes the importance of the human rights treaty system. the judges and the doctors in fact they blame the victims for the incident. A research conducted by Anne Bayefsky. The United Nations Human Rights Treaty System The Optional Protocol of CEDAW. The conflict of the desire to maintain religious practices and cultural diversity and the desire to attain progress in terms of equality. editor of “Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism. They believed that violence was an element of their culture and tended to see Israeli Palestinian as belonging to a violent society.domestic violence as a less important problem and should not be given much attention. Bayefsky also notes that. as being stated by Katalin Fabian (2009). the human rights treaty system is of central importance. the authorities dealt with the cases differently. According to Merry (2009). as part of the greater human rights treaty system which establishes the standards for multi-cultural application of human rights. is important in the development of this study. because international legal standards may offer more benefits. B. The potential to generate remedies. In Hungary. attention and accessibility. 13 . where national political will fall short. uniformity and universality brings contradicting ideas. According to Bayefsky (2000). applying a universalistic framework will overlook local circumstances on the other hand. emphasizing local situations hinder the relevance of universal categories. and Global Forces” rape is regarded as an argumentative power statement not a sexual act.

and this book enlists various effective recommendations for the efficiency of an international law in the domestic setting.In her book. Enforcing the Charter for the Rights and Freedoms of Women in the Kurdish regions and Diaspora by Kerim Yildiz states that. The treaty based. Committee against torture for CAT. rendering universal participation a reality”. treaties are backed by the norms regulating international law and are therefore legally binding”. The problem however occurs in its implementation. First. Bayefsky‟s study shows how countries got involved to the human rights treaty system and how this system in turn becomes a binding agreement for the signatories. reporting 14 . and the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women for CEDAW. “The UN human rights treaty system in the 21st century” she claimed that: “The challenge for the 21st century is to move the theory of universality of international human rights standards towards effective implementation of human rights obligations. the mechanism includes the making of inquiries. C. “in contrast to the UN charter mechanisms which are either not legally binding or require permission to be executed. The treaty bodies are: Human Rights Committee for ICCPR.mechanism Yildiz (2005) mentioned that the treaty-based mechanism of the United Nations includes four important procedures. The human rights treaty system will provide an alternative and/or additional remedy for the violations committed under the treaties to which it seeks to protect. Every United Nations member-state is part of the human rights treaty system through the ratification of at least one of the six major human rights treaties. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for ICERD. Yildiz made mention of the four treaty bodies that has a special mechanism (Optional Protocol) in entertaining complaints directly from non-state entities lobbied as a human rights violations under their own respective treaties. This fuels the efficiency and utilization of the international documents and human rights instruments.

and can ask for the state and its government to protect the victim and provide redress for the violation”. Nongovernmental Organizations were allowed to submit a “shadow report” on their country which contains a contending view on the state‟s conditions with regards to the treaty compliance. it has a Complaint Resource Procedures. more often than not. The UN Bodies that cater these complaints. D. Due to these. Lastly. state parties are required to report on a regular basis to the treaty-monitoring body. 2005). Upon ratifying a treaty. 2005). Standard Rules of Procedure in Filing a Complaint in OP-CEDAW The Optional Protocol of CEDAW serves as both a Complaint-Recourse and ComplaintInformation Procedure as an individual complaint and investigative mechanism (Yildiz.and monitoring – Only two conventions (CAT and CEDAW) has this proceeding to conduct inquiries into credible allegations of massive or systematic violations. 2005). Another procedure is the Committee or NGO-initiated Reporting. However. the treaty-based mechanisms tends to create an “extra-window” in hearing complaints regarding the human rights violation on women (Yildiz. Under this process. “review the submission of the complaints. This makes international law more effective and interactive (Yildiz. Second. the Committee presiding on this treaty has no power to enforce these to state parties who‟s under the obligation on fulfilling it. Government. These procedures create an avenue for more violations on all the state parties to be heard. misses this report or contains only basic information about it. like CEDAW through its Optional Protocol. can submit the details of the 15 . state parties are required to submit a State Reporting. With a check and balance procedure in the government and concerned NGOs. a complaint for a specific violation on human rights can be made and can demand for remedies from the state concerned. or group of women. who feels her/their rights have been abused. The “individual complaint mechanism is designed so that an individual woman.

it is highly required to exhaust all the possible domestic opinions. and rulings before filing an international and individual complaint. all domestic channels must have been exhausted before women can bring a case to the international level. Complaint Process of the OP . compose the Optional Protocol of CEDAW. Also. the individual making a complaint to the treaty body must be “under the jurisdiction of a state that is a party to the relevant treaty. remedies. According to him.CEDAW Yildiz (2005) explained the process of filing a complaint on the treaty system of UN. complaint will not be done anonymously. Lastly. The requirements that the victims have to meet in order to use this part of Protocol on the individual complaint mechanism were mentioned by Yildiz (2005). Each submission must have an identifiable woman or group of women as victim(s) of the abuse. the entire claim must be submitted in writing. Filing a complaint undergoes a strict process and various regulatory requirements to let an individual file a complaint to the treaty body concerned. or at least if the two aforementioned individual were not able to lobby the 16 . Third. the investigative procedure may actually end up more interesting and possibly more useful for women‟s rights”. Second. the victim‟s representative. E. These. First. along with the investigative procedure. whereas the complainant must be either the victim.discrimination to a committee of experts who will review the case. Another important requisite is that the submission cannot be made anonymous. the state in which the alleged abuse of rights took place must have been a party to the original Convention and the Optional Protocol the time the abuse occurred (or the violation must continue beyond the date when the state became a party). because there is no oral hearing. Yildiz states that “while individual-complaint mechanism significantly receives more media attention. The Committee will then contact the relevant state and seek a response and ultimately make a decision on the matter”.

A. vs. societal problem.T. In its resolution of the case. This is a case concerning domestic violence.complaints due to unwanted circumstances. the Committee drew attention to domestic violence as a wider. with a focus on the failure of the State party to ensure protection of the human rights of the author from violations by a non-state actor. a third identified party may file the complaint for the victim‟s behalf (Yildiz. indicating an encouraging start to the communications procedure under the OP on this issue at least (IWRAW. 2005). claimed she had suffered severe and regular domestic violence and serious threats to her life by her husband. Hungary Miss A. the Budapest Regional Court had issued a final decision authorizing his return to the property. a topic that has had growing recognition as a violation of the human rights of women in the international as well as in domestic courts.T. Cases Filed Under the Optional Protocol The following are cases filed under the Optional Protocol of CEDAW by individuals who were able to exhaust local remedies and seek justice by holding the state to which they are a part as guilty of women rights violation. 2009). The Committee‟s recommendations took into account the concrete suggestions of the author. There had been civil proceedings regarding the husband‟s access to the family residence and. 2009). providing views and recommendations that are applicable to society as a whole. 17 . in September 2003. The overarching issue was the positive obligation of the State to take action to eliminate domestic violence. which the author and the husband owned jointly (IWRAW.

she claimed that the irrationally lengthy criminal procedures against her husband. While she sought assistance from the courts. 5(a) and 16. the author did not approach a shelter as none in the country could accommodate her and both her children. of the Optional Protocol. The author claimed violations by Hungary of the Convention Articles 2(a). 18 . It turned out that at that time. She sought justice for herself and her children. the author also requested effective interim measures in accordance with Article 5. one of whom is severely brain-damaged. As to the nature of this intervention. as no such orders were available under Hungarian law. the State party informed the Committee that the Governmental Office for Equal Opportunities established contact with the author in January 2004 in order to inquire about her situation.The author asserted that since then her “physical integrity. the author made concrete suggestions for reform of the situation (IWRAW. 2009). By submission of 20 April 2004. With her initial submission. including fair compensation and the Committee‟s intervention into the intolerable situation. (e). and the fact that he had not spent any time in custody were a breach of the Convention. A petition for review of the above decision had been submitted to the Supreme Court and was pending in January 2004. in breach of its positive obligations under the Convention. the lack of protection orders or restraining orders under current Hungarian law. physical and mental health. and life were at risk” and that she lived in “constant fear”. and thus the Office retained a lawyer with professional experience and practice in cases of domestic violence for her. there was no possibility of obtaining a protection/restraining order. There were ongoing criminal proceedings against the husband concerning incidents of battery and assault. for failure to provide effective protection from her former common law husband. Furthermore. (b). In particular. which affects many women from all segments of Hungarian society. paragraph 1. the author had had no legal representative in the proceedings.

if needed. resident of the Netherlands. second paragraph. she submitted an application for maternity benefits under the WAZ. The State party repeated that it had established contact with the author. decided that. prior to the start of her maternity leave. the author would not receive benefits during maternity leave for her loss of income stemming from her work in her husband‟s enterprise. Article 11 of the CEDAW Convention. the National Institute for Social Insurance (“LISV”). The author was also insured under the Invalidity Insurance (Self-Employed Persons) Act (“WAZ”) for her work in her husband‟s company. the benefits agency. retained a lawyer for her in the civil proceedings and established contact with the competent notary and child welfare services. 2003. the Netherlands The author of the communication. the Committee requested that the author be immediately offered a safe place for her and her children to live and that the State party ensure that the author receive adequate financial assistance. Dung Thi Thuy.After several notes. is Ms. Dung Thi Thuy Nguyen vs. dated December 8. On 17 September 1998. This was because Section 19 . The author was insured under the Sickness Benefits Act (“ZW”) for her salaried employment and. The author worked as a part-time salaried employee as well as with her husband as a co-working spouse in his company. received benefits to compensate for her loss of income from her salaried employment during her maternity leave over a period of 16 weeks. despite her entitlement. She gave birth to a child and took maternity leave starting 17 January 1999. She alleges being victim of a violation by the Netherlands of clause b). On 19 February 1999. in accordance with Article 29a of this Act.

The author claimed that women whose income stems from both salaried and other forms of employment only receive partial compensation for their loss of income during their maternity leave. her WAZ entitlement exceeded her ZW entitlement (IWRAW. She contended that this provision entitles women to maternity leave with full compensation for loss of income from their work. On 8 May 2002. The author claimed that she was a victim of a violation by the State party of Article 11. The Tribunal also referred to one of its earlier judgments in which it held that Article 11 of the Convention lacks direct effect. The author lodged an objection to the decision in several courts. On 4 June 2002 the benefits agency decided that the author‟s entitlement under the ZW would be supplemented by the difference between her claim under the WAZ and her entitlement under the ZW. In this respect. Unlike during the previous period of maternity leave. paragraph 2 (b) of the CEDAW Convention. the author submitted that pregnancy has a negative effect on the income of this group of women (CEDAW/C/36/D/3/2004). She claimed that partial compensation for the loss of income does not fulfilled the requirements of Article 11. until the Central Appeals Tribunal confirmed the contested judgment of the Breda District Court.59 (4) of the WAZ – the so-called “anti-accumulation clause” – allows (in cases of concurrent claims for maternity benefits) payment of benefits only insofar as they exceed benefits payable under the ZW. paragraph 2 (b) of the Convention and amounts to direct 20 . the author began a second maternity leave (in connection with her second pregnancy) and again applied for benefits. The author‟s benefits from her work with her spouse did not exceed those from her salaried employment. 2009). The Tribunal found that Section 59 (4) of the WAZ does not result in unfavourable treatment of women as compared to men.

The author further asserted that Article 11.discrimination of women as a result of their pregnancy. On January 2. He then asked her to sign a waiver form that stated. represented by the European Roma Rights Center and the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities. 2 (b) of the Convention so that co-working spouses or self-employed women on pregnancy and maternity leave are provided with full compensation for loss of income. neither do I wish to become pregnant. S.The author asserted that Article 11 of the Convention applies to any conceivable professional activity carried out for payment and referred to legal literature on the Travaux Préparatoires of the Convention to substantiate her assertion. A. to take appropriate measures to comply with the requirements of Article 11.S.” Initially she was 21 . the author went into labor pain and was rushed to the hospital. 2001. I do not intend to give birth again. Vs. Hungary Miss A. The attending physician pronounced the fetus dead and said that it had to be removed immediately. “Having knowledge of the death of the embryo inside my womb I firmly request my sterilization [a Latin term unknown to the author was used]. the Committee has been authorized to decide whether the violation of a certain Convention right may be judicially reviewed in actual cases (CEDAW/C/36/D/3/2004). The author requested the Committee to recommend to the State party.. under Article 2 of the OP. She also considered that the prohibition of discrimination against women means that pregnancy and maternity may not result in a subordinated position of women as compared to men (CEDAW/C/36/D/3/2004). 2 (b) provides a right that is open to tangible judicial review and that. claimed to have undergone forced sterilization when she came into the hospital for an emergency caesarean section to remove her dead fetus.

the committee considered that in this case. On November 22. This communication was found admissible and was decided on its merits. despite having occurred prior to the entry into force of the OP in Hungary. Also. Therefore. 2002. being a member of the Catholic faith which discourages any form of contraception. (CEDAW/C/39/D/4/2005) 22 . to provide appropriate information and advice on family planning. and her ethnicity. through the hospital personnel. the committee stated a failure of the State Party. believing in the traditional Roma value system that children are integral to the family. The Court further viewed as a “partial extenuating circumstance towards the defendant‟s negligence the fact that. the doctors performed the sterilization with special dispatch simultaneously with the Caesarean section”.unaware of what had happened and only found out before she left the hospital. also stating that the author had given her consent accordingly. she then filed a communication to the Optional Protocol of CEDAW on February 12. The committee agreed that all domestic remedies had been exhausted and found that the facts being the subject of the communication. With all domestic remedies exhausted. 2005 (CEDAW/C/36/D/4/2004). specific recommendations regarding compensation for the author and on taking further measures in relation to women‟s reproductive health were made to the State Party. were of a continuous nature. This had profound effects on her faith. Moreover. 2002 but it was rejected on May 12. She filed an appeal on December 5. which constitutes a violation of the author‟s right under the CEDAW. 2003. the State Party did not ensure that the author gave her fully informed consent to be sterilized. with the author‟s consent. her case was rejected by the Fehérgyarmat Town Court on the count that the medical conditions for sterilization prevailed in the author‟s case and that she had been informed about her sterilization and given all relevant information in a way in which she could understand it.

particularly prosecutors. Hence criminal law was not applied to such violent behavior because law enforcement authorities did not take the danger seriously. Once again. There was a lack of due diligence since the criminal justice system. The police were found to be accountable for failing to exercise due diligence to protect Sahide Goekce. such as the 23 . considered domestic violence as a minor offence. The committee found that Fatma had made positive and determined efforts to save her life and failure to detain her husband was considered to be a breach of the State Party‟s due diligence obligation to protect Fatma. The authors claimed that Sahide Goekce was a victim of a violation by the State Party under CEDAW. The committee also stated that the perpetrator‟s rights cannot supersede women‟s human rights to life and physical and mental integrity and that the public prosecutor should not have denied the request of the police to arrest the perpetrator (CEDAW/C/39/D/5/2005). The authors argued that the state party had failed to take appropriate measures to protect Fatma Yildrim‟s right to life and personal security as a victim of domestic violence.Sahide Goekce vs Austria This was a case relating to domestic violence which ended in the death of the victim at the hands of her husband (CEDAW/C/39/D/5/2005). There was also lack of coordination between law enforcement and judicial personnel. Poor communication between the police and the public prosecutor did not adequately allow the prosecutor to assess the danger posed by Fatma‟s husband. Fatma Yldrim vs Austria Another related case was a domestic violence which ended in the death of the victim at the hands of her husband. The committee held the complaint admissible. when the State Party failed to take appropriate measures to protect Sahida‟s right to personal security and life and failed to prosecute her husband as an extremely violent and dangerous offender under criminal law. the committee held that a perpetrator‟s basic rights.

after taking a medical exam which proved that she was “raped”. (b) In view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of rape. the case was delayed for many years. forty-two years old mother and former executive director of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Upon these. right to personal freedom cannot supersede women‟s human rights to life and to physical and mental integrity (CEDAW/C/39/D/6/2005). has implemented various acts and programs with the purpose of upholding the Convention‟s aims. 24 . and (c) The evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defense” (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). had been a victim of rape by her boss at the night of March 29. However. she filed a complaint in the local court. though innocent. as mandated by CEDAW. accusing her “boss” of abusing her. F. a key participant in the treaty-drafting. 2005 due to the verdict issued by Judge Virginia Hofileña-Europa of the Regional Trial Court upon guided by the principles that state: (a) “It is easy to make an accusation of rape as it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused. such as the 2009 Magna Carta of Women.presumption of innocence. in which only two persons are usually involved. to bolster and monitor the women‟s rights movement in the country. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. such as the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). private and family life. Karen Vertido and other cases in the Philippines Karen Vertido. and it caused the perpetrator to be acquitted in April 26. OP-CEDAW in the Philippines The Philippines. A government agency was established. 1996. to disprove.

(6) The rape victim could not have resisted the sexual attack if the accused were able to proceed to ejaculation and (7) It is unbelievable that a man in his sixties would be capable of rape. (2) To be raped by means of intimidation. there must be a clear evidence of a direct threat. 2010 she found her justification in the “light” of justice as the State. it states that “the failure of the victim to try to escape does not negate the existence of rape”. (3) To conclude that a rape occurred by means of threat. an independent human rights consultant and Alexandra S. and also by cowering in submission because of fear. Vertido specified seven myths that the Davao Regional Trial Court revealed when it acquitted Custodio. as the Court did not understand why the author had not escaped when she allegedly appeared to have had so many opportunities to do so. and in July 16. Vertido could not find justice under the Philippine legal system. Relying deeply on the Supreme Court ruling. (5) It is problematic when a rape victim reacts to the assault by resisting the attack. a PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University. Simone Cusack. (4) The fact that the accused and the victim are “more than nodding acquaintances" makes the sex consensual. The seven myths are the following: (1) A rape victim must try to escape at every opportunity. H.The court clearly challenged the integrity of Vertido‟s testimony. the victim must be timid or easily cowed. This led her in lobbying a complaint to the Optional Protocol of CEDAW. Timmer. were held accountable for the negligence in the due process of law with regards to her case (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). Republic of the Philippines. it concluded that that ruling could not apply in this case. and she was determined to seek an alternative to vindicate herself and her struggle for justice. Belgium stated that in her complaint before the committee. Case(s) in the Philippines The Vizconde Case 25 .

A prime example of delay in the Philippine judicial system is the case of the infamous Vizconde Massacre. On the morning of June 20, 1991 the three women of the Vizconde household were found murdered in their home in Parañaque. Two years later, Hubert Webb, the suspected mastermind, and three other suspects were arrested. It was only 4 years after that an eyewitness emerged to give context to the crime; the eyewitness, a self-confessed drug addict submitted several testimonies that baffled the court. Finally, on January 6, 2000, the

accused were sentenced to life imprisonment; this verdict came eight-and-a-half years after the crime. In the years to come, the defense produced documents and were able to present 95 witnesses; the prosecution presented only 7. The case was reopened on April 22, 2010 when the Supreme Court unanimously granted the accused‟s request to examine the forensic examination of the evidence– specifically, the DNA testing of the semen specimen taken from the body of one of the rape-slay victims. Four days later, the National Bureau of Investigation admitted that they had turned over the specimen to the Parañaque RTC back in 1996. The Parañaque court staff reported to the Supreme Court that the specimen was not in their custody - the specimen-in-question had gone missing. Ten months later, on December 14, 2010, Webb and six of his cohorts were acquitted. First Deaf Case Angelo Garcia (2011) Silent victims. Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, Retrieved In June 2011, under the supervision of Atty. Evalyn Ursua (who served as Vertido‟s lawyer for the duration of her case), the graduate class of the Women and Law of the University of the Philippines College of Social Work and Community Development (UP CSWCD) filed a communication inspired by the Karen Vertido case. The victim is the first Filipino woman with disability to bring her case to the CEDAW. The case involves a woman person-with-disability 26

(PWD) who was allegedly raped in 2006 as a minor, at the age of 16 years old. The court acquitted her perpetrator earlier this year, five years after the case was filed. “The communication that we filed is the first case of a person with disability. Karen Vertido‟s case is our basis. The same situation, there‟s no local legal remedy at this point. It‟s a little bit worse because she was a minor, she has a disability,” explains Women and Law student and Philippine Deaf Resource Center (PDRC) director Liza Martinez. OP-CEDAW Recommendations on Vertido’s Case Guided by Article 7, paragraph 3, of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Committee stated that the State party has failed to fulfill its obligations and has thereby violated the rights of the author under article 2 (c) and (f), and article 5 (a) read along with Article 1 of the Convention and general recommendation No. 19 of the Committee. It also set forth the following recommendations to the State party, the Philippines (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). The first recommendation deals with the reparation done by the state party involved to the author (Vertido) of the communication as to Vertido‟s case, the state party was recommended to provide appropriate compensation commensurate with the gravity of the violations of her rights (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). The second recommendation was emphasized in the communication that was addressed for the state party, Philippines. According to the communication sent by CEDAW, the state party must take effective measures to ensure that court proceedings emphasized by the involving rape allegations are pursued without undue delay. Another is that, it must “ensure that all legal procedures in cases involving crimes of rape and other sexual offenses are impartial and fair, and not affected by prejudices or stereotypical gender notions.

27

To achieve these, a wide range of measures are needed, targeted at the legal system, to improve the judicial handling of rape cases, as well as training and education to change discriminatory attitudes towards women. This measure includes reviewing of the definition of rape in the local legislation so as to place the lack of consent at its center. Also, it also seeks to remove any requirement in the legislation that sexual assault be committed by force or

violence, and any requirement of proof of penetration, and minimize secondary victimization of the complainant/survivor in proceedings by enacting a definition of sexual assault that either: i.) Recommends the existence of “unequivocal and voluntary agreement” and requiring

proof by the accused of steps taken to ascertain whether the complainant/survivor was consenting; or (ii.) Recommends that the act take place in “coercive circumstances” and includes a broad

range of coercive circumstances.” (iii) Recommends appropriate and regular training on the Convention on the Elimination of its Optional Protocol and its general

All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

recommendations, in particular general recommendation No. 19, for judges, lawyers and law enforcement personnel; (iv) Recommends appropriate training for judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers and

medical personnel in understanding crimes of rape and other sexual offences in a gendersensitive manner so as to avoid re-victimization of women having reported rape cases and to ensure that personal mores and values do not affect decision-making

(CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008).

28

court personnel. Women and Children. the CGRJ aims to create “a judicial system that is sensitive and responsive to gender equality and empowerment in all its policies.The Philippine Judicial Academy The Philipine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) was created by the Supreme Court. One such program is the Seminar-Workshop on CEDAW.” Aside from training and capacity-building. Narvasa (Administrative Order No. and mandated through RA 8557 on February 26. lawyers. Gender Sensitivity and the Courts. Feliciano. The program conducts training and capacity building seminars for the entire judiciary personnel. The law established PHILJA as a “training school for justices. 1998. judges. Rules and Issuances on Cases involving Family. 2002).” The Academy has Special Focus Programs designed to assist judges handling specific cases. otherwise known as Ordinance 5004. programs and activities. Women’s Development Code of Davao City According to Estrella R. the Academy published a compilation of the Laws. the promotion of the use of gender-fair language. Regional Head of National Statistical Coordination Board XI . “is a set of legislative measures approximating the International Human Rights 29 . Domestic Relations. The program is conducted by the Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ). 1996). The role of PHILJA in the gender mainstreaming is greatly recognized by the proponents as one of the enforcers of inserting “gender studies” to legal personnel they are educating (PHILJA. Committee‟s tasks include the conceptualization of a gender-responsive database. and aspirants to judicial posts. According to Executive Director of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Office of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Myrna S. 3-06 on March 12. and partnership with other GAD Advocates. In 2010. under the leadership of then Chief Justice Andres R. Turingan (2000). “The Women Development Code of Davao City.

To monitor the gender responsiveness of the legal. The Sangguniang Panlunsod of Davao City approved this code on October 14 1997. It attempts to address the issues. 24 on July 17. The general objective of the project is to strengthen civil society‟s participation in governance through a multi-sectoral monitoring approach (Turingan. health. The rules and regulations were approved by Davao City Mayor. To sensitize various government officials and employees focusing on the judiciary on the code and gender related issues and concerns. Benjamin de Guzman through Executive Order No. women‟s convention. and needs and concerns of women in Davao City. Philippine Constitutional framework and current Philippine laws on Women and Gender and the Davao City Children‟s Welfare Code”. 30 . To provide opportunities for feed-backing of monitoring result to concerned local agencies.Law framework. and social programs and services of the local government units utilizing the indicators and guidelines developed in the first phase of the project. 3. 2000). 4. 1988. To initiate public discourse among stakeholders in the implementation of the code. The detailed objectives were: 1. 2. the Convention and Elimination of Discrimination against Women. and for setting the penal provisions for violators of women‟s rights. Research and consultations were delivered with women in different sectors drafting the ordinance. and United Nations declaration on violence against women. problems. The purpose of the said ordinance was to raise consciousness and advocacy for the protection and empowerment of women in Davao City.

Barriers in the Judicial Process According to the framework on gender bias in the justice process created by Atty. Even prior to a woman filing a case. it is easier to accuse a person of rape than to prove oneself innocent of the crime 2. this include double victimization. empowerment. To strengthen NGO participation in the Davao City monitoring committee. The ordinance clearly seeks for gender mainstreaming. And to provide policy makers and program implementers. she already experiences discrimination through the interaction with her family members and coworkers. Edna E.” there are multiple stages that serve as barriers hindering women from fully accessing their right to justice. By which the very fact that only two persons are involved in the crime of rape. and formulation of gender-sensitive policies. prosecution. the causes of the prolonged adjudication process included the fact that there were several changes to the trial court judges and the accused filed numerous motions before the appellate courts.The presence of these gender biases open up the possibility for the creation of inappropriate judicial remedies. sexist treatment and under-representation of women . Also. there are manifestations of gender bias. given that she allegedly had many oppurtunities to do so (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). The evidence for the prosecution cannot be allowed to be drawn strength from the weakness of the evidence of the defence. Manifestation biases were evident in Judge Europa‟s verdict: 1. 31 .5. Dino in her paper “The Experience of the Philippine Judiciary in the Generation and Gathering of Sex-Disaggregated Data. In the Karen Vertido case. decision and appeal for the case are held). the Court could not find it feasible that the defendant failed to escape. Also. During the adjudication process (in which the investigation. the monitoring on the implementation of laws in the locality is deemed essential. gender responsive data and information. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution 3.

scholar and feminist activist Alda Facio : Mae Buenaventura of the Women‟s Legal Bureau of the Philippines. Judge Europa cited that the evidence presented by the prosecution “leaves too man doubts in the mind of the court to achieve the moral certainty necessary to merit a conviction. in her presentation during the fourth consultation on the potential of the OP-CEDAW in Nepal said that Vertido‟s case was dismissed due to lack of probable cause. 32 .Written in the article “New Hope for Victims of Rape” by lawyer.” pointing out the alleged lack of credibility in Vertido‟s testimony.

sampling procedure. unit of analysis.Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter presents the procedures used by the researchers to address the inquiries of this study. variables and measures. eight female lawyers and three judges. A total of 20 respondents were interviewed for the study. and data analysis of the entire study. 33 . It employed qualitative methods in obtaining data particularly through in-depth interviews. in places where the lawyers and judges preferred to be interviewed and at their most convenient time. They comprised of nine male lawyers. Snowball method was used in determining the said respondents. the complaint she sent to the Optional Protocol of CEDAW and the recommendations of the OP-CEDAW. This part includes: The research design. Locale of the Study The study was conducted in Davao City. data collection procedure. locale of the study. Unit of Analysis The respondents of this study were lawyers and judges who are knowledgeable about the Karen Vertido case. Research Design This study is descriptive in nature as it determined the knowledge and perceptions of Davao City lawyers and judges. Sampling Procedure The study employed a Purposive Quota Sampling in the selection of lawyers and judges as respondents.

The data collection was done through an in-depth interview. Their knowledge. The researchers prepared a formal letter requesting the law firms‟ or offices permission to carry out interviews on their members. Throughout the interview. All respondents were confidential respondents known only to the researchers and each respondent was interviewed in their respective law firm‟s office. With the respondents‟ consent their answers were logged into a voice recorder.Data Collection Procedure A pre-test with a lawyer was conducted to determine the efficiency of the questions that were included in the questionnaire. It began through the identification of socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents. The data gathering process was conducted only after the approval of the request. the researchers used an in-depth interview guide to ensure that the necessary data needed will be gathered. perceptions and attitudes towards the compliance of the Philippines to the recommendations set by the Optional Protocol of CEDAW were determined. 34 . Data Analysis The data was analysed thematically. Direct quotations and related literature were also used to analyse the data.

There were 4 civil lawyers. There were 17 lawyer respondents. 3 corporate lawyers. perceptions and attitudes of the respondents in relation to the recommendations of OP-CEDAW on the basis of their answers in the questions asked during an in depth interview. 4 teaching lawyers. Nine (9) are male lawyers while 8 are female lawyers. The socio demographic profiles of the respondents are on the first part of this chapter as well as the descriptions of each variable. two are Regional Trial Court (RTC) judges and a Municipal Trial Courts in Cities (MTCC) judge. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION This chapter includes the analysis and interpretation of data in the study based on the statements of the problem. The respondents were asked whether they know the Karen Vertido case. KNOWLEDGE Karen Vertido Case. 35 . For the judge respondents.Chapter 4 DATA PRESENTATION. The second part presents the descriptive analysis and interpretation of the knowledge. Socio Demographic Profile of the Respondents The socio demographic profile of the respondents includes their sex and job description. Sex. 5 human rights advocates and a public defender. I. All respondents know that the Karen Vertido is a case involving rape. two are male and one is female. For the judge respondents. Nature of Job. there were three.

Soon after the other man got off the car. nagmotel na sila. Facts about the Case According to some respondents: “March 1996 yun.Female judge 1 “Karen and another businessman was in the car of Custodio.). b. Si Karen nasa loob ng car ni Custodio but a friend of Custodio was with them pero maaga bumaba sa kotse yung friend ni Custodio so sila nalang dalawa. Karen was in the car of Custodio but a friend of Custodio was with them. but then Custodio's friend got off early so only the two (Vertido and Custodio) of them were left in the car. The rape happened in the motel. then Custodio drove to the motel. 1996. Custodio) friend got off. Time 36 . After this Custodio drove to a motel and that's where everything started. Vertido‟s boss. Jose Custodio who had offered to take her home after a meeting. Since the businessman was a primary figure in the Davao Chamber of Commerce.Male lawyer 8 Rina Jimenez-David. As the other businessman was being dropped somewhere.”(I think Karen was about to go home then she was offered a ride by her boss. where Karen worked as executive director she felt no reason to distrust the man. an opinion columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer discussed that It was fourteen years ago. She entered the car but they were three at that time then after JBC‟s (Jose B. the businessman made a detour and drove to a motel where he subsequently raped Karen.” (It happened on March 1996.Female lawyer 4 “ I think pauli na ug balay si Karen then she was offered by her boss na ihatod nalang daw… She entered the car pero tulo pa sila that time tapos after nagbaba ang friend ni JBC. especially since another businessman was accompanying them.) . they went to the motel.a. matagal-tagal na rin. it's been quite some time now. Five (5) out of 20 respondents recalled and mentioned the incident. After this Custodio drove to a motel at nagsimula na ang lahat. Karen Vertido entered the car of a well-known businessman. on March 29.”.

Timmer.”. a PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre stated that the trial became extensive because the trial court judge was changed several times. timely and expeditious manner (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). uyab man na sila ni Karen. H. ( What I know Custodio claimed he has a relationship with Vertido. an independent human rights consultant and Alexandra S.CEDAW Committee found that it was an undisputed fact that the case remained at the trial court level from 1997 to 2005. There is no rape because he never forced Vertido to enter the 37 .) – Male lawyer 7 “It is important to know that Custodio admitted to the court that they had an affair… he said that it is both their decision to be in the room. Sinabi niya sa korte na hindi niya pinilit si Karen na pumunta sa motel eh lalo na sa kwarto. where the rape apparently happened. Walay rape kay he never forced Vertido to enter the motel and the room. impartial. Eight (8) out of 20 respondents said that the case remained at the trial court level from 1997 to 2005. yan ang sinabi niya sa judge”. Simone Cusack. Fourteen (14) out of 20 respondents did state that the case was referred to Judge Virginia Hofileña-Europa. Motives Eight(8) out of 11 male respondents explained that during the trial. c. Custodio won the case. Well. Custodio claimed that he had a relationship with Karen during that time and therefore. Custodio claimed na mag-syota daw to sila ni Vertido. it was their mutual decision to go the motel. the room in motel. He said to the trial court that there was no rape and that due to lack of evidences.Male lawyer 2 “Ang ingon ni Custodio. the case was referred to Judge Virginia Hofileña-Europa. Custodio defended that he never forced Karen to go to the motel especially to the room. “Sa aking pagkaka-alam. It considers that for a remedy to be effective. (According to Custodio. three judges recused themselves from the case and finally in September 2002. Karen and he were in a relationship. He said to the trial court that there was no rape and kulang naman din ang mga evidences and so nanalo sa kaso itong si Custodio”. Silang duha nagdecide na mu-adto sila sa motel. adjudication of a case involving rape and sexual offenses claims should be dealt with in a fair.

he decided not to drive her home but to proceed to a motel… He (Custodio) suggested to her (Vertido) that they begin a longer relationship. The respondents were asked what they can say about the parties involved. “In the car. she promptly took off her clothes and waited for him to undress…” Only 3 out of 9 female respondents shared that Custodio‟s claim is more believable. sociologist and a weekly newspaper columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer pieced the narrative of Custodio from the transcript of the stenographic notes taken during the preliminary investigation of the case. This only shows that most of the respondents who are unconvinced that there was rape were male respondents regardless the fact that in the trial. 38 . Parties involved. I don‟t know but if we base it on the evidences then it is hard to believe what Karen is saying. Because she seemed receptive to his naughty advances. they (Vertido. David noted. I believe there was no rape. At the motel room. she had no doubt that Vertido was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a rape (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). June Pagaduan Lopez.) – Male lawyer 1 Randy David.) –Male lawyer 9 “Kung ako lang. Custodio and another businessman) talked about a forthcoming trip to Manado.motel and the room.”(For me. The two of them decided that they will go to the motel. Dr. an expert in victimology and rape trauma. Ewan ko lang pero if we base it on the evidences then mahirap paniwalaan ang mga pinagsasabi ni Karen. I think Custodio has more evidences compared to Vertido. and the possibility that Karen might be able to join this trip…They held (Custodio and Vertido) hands while he drove. I believe there was no rape I think mas maraming ebidensiya si Custodio compared to Vertido ano. testified that having counselled Karen Vertido for 18 months prior to her testifying in court. a journalist. in which they can help each other. Indonesia.

I see Karen as a career woman. Six (6) respondents mentioned Evalyn Ursua while 5 out of 20 respondents. gender violence and gender analysis stated Karen Vertido is a successful career woman until the rape on March 29. adulteress as the media in her own hometown called her. writer and an international expert on women‟s human rights. Fourteen (14) out of 20 respondents know that Vertido is the first Asian to use the communication procedure however no one mentioned that the Vertido Case was the first case brought from the Asia-Pacific region under the Optional Protocol and the first ever on rape decided under the Optional Protocol ( " C e d a w i n A c t i o n i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a " ) . well-educated. all were female mentioned Women‟s Legal Bureau of the Philippines. (Being raped was not a choice and obviously she was forced to it. is being legally assisted by Filipino lawyer Evalyn Ursua. Sa totoo lang. “Being raped was not a choice and obviously she was forced to it. This man is believed to be paid twice the salary of 39 . she was considered as the bad person. Vertido Karen Vertido is the first woman from Asia to submit a complaint under the communication procedure of the Optional Protocol ( " C e d a w i n A c t i o n i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a " ) .a. Between her and her rapist. See? Gaano kasakit? Career woman nga siya pero ang tingin ng lahat sa kanya ay malandi at masama. b. This only means that female respondents are more familiar with Women‟s Legal Bureau of the Philippines. the whore. Vertido’s private life “As you know. adulteress as the media in her own hometown called her. she got the painful part of the deal. and the well-known Women‟s Legal Bureau of the Philipines. 1996. I see Karen as a career woman. you know. And even if she is the victim. the whore. you know. Honestly. she was considered as the bad person. she got the painful part of the deal.) – Female lawyer 6 The response corresponds to the statement of Alda Facio a jurist. And even if she is the victim. Karen T. well-educated. a man. Karen lost her job after the incident… very unfair in the part of Karen for she is now jobless and I came to know that she was replaced by someone. See how hurtful? Yes she was a career woman but everyone sees her as flirtatious and bad. Between her and her rapist.

Vertido with her two children moved to Manila because they had become publicly recognizable in Davao. he can‟t afford to leave his job. wala atang lawyer na di alam ang Vertido Case” ( Ah.. I have friends who are close to Custodio and they are the one who told me that they had a relationship. So parang ang na-trauma pa ata ay itong si Custodio. everybody knows they had an affair before. Actually. This man is believed to be paid twice the salary of Vertido just to ensure that the incident will not happen again. a man. Sikat yang kaso na iyan. I think that it is impossible and come on. But my friend stayed in Davao because of his work. I think there are no lawyers who do not know the case. Karen Vertido. the author and journalist Jerrie Abella stated that Vertido lost her job and that a man was hired with a double amount of Vertido‟s salary so that there will be no repeat of the incident.Female lawyer 3 “Fact is kilala ko talaga yung husband ni Karen.Vertido just to ensure that . It is my first time to hear someone who got rape in a motel. You know.Male lawyer 1 40 . yung husband ni Karen kasi nga may trabaho. Actually nung nalaman ng buong Davao yung pangyayari at kaso dahil nga sa media umalis si Karen dala yung dalawa nilang anak. c. Alleged Relationship “Ah…Karen Vertido? yung may relasyon dati kay Custodio na bigla nalang na-rape. So it‟s like the one who got traumatized was Custodio. the one who had a relationship with Custodio before that was suddenly raped. Mr. Honestly. The Karen Vertido Case is a famous case.” ( As you know.) – Male lawyer 5 “Vertido Case became familiar because it is a unique case considering the parties involved.” ( In fact I know Karen‟s husband. Karen‟s husband was required to stay in Davao City because of his job and so the couple had to endure a commuter marriage. when Davao found out about the incident and the case because of the media Karen together with their two children went to Manila.) – Male lawyer 4 Written in the article “UN women‟s committee faults RP for junking rape case”. Vertido.alam niyo na the incident will not happen again.) . despised by the public for accusing a respected businessman of rape. Pero nagpaiwan itong kaibigan ko. di niya pwede pabayaan.”. Karen lost her job after the incident… very unfair in the part of Karen for she is now jobless and I came to know that she was replaced by someone. Alam niyo may mga kaibigan nga akong close kay Custodio at sinabi sakin na talagang may relasyon nga yung dalawa.

Female lawyer 2 Ten (10) respondents said that the case was well-known because of the parties involved.)-Male lawyer 8 Three (3) judges and 12 out of 17 lawyers did mention about the lack of evidences against Custodio. including me cannot believed that Custodio can do such…it is kababuyan in our language. Custodio was acquitted because there were no enough evidences that the crime happened.“Many knew that Custodio and Vertido had an illicit affair. Custodio’s Acquittal “Court decisions will be really based on facts and strong evidences and not just hear say. d. They are two people who are well educated and everyone got shocked that Vertido filed a case against his boss just like that and at the same time who was considered to be her lover… Many people.” (Karen‟s grief continued when the court found Custodio not guilty of rape.”-Female lawyer 5 “Karen‟s grief continued when the court found Custodio not guilty of rape. 41 .). Kasi sa korte talaga ebidensiya ang basehan hindi mga sabi-sabi. So I think yes the case is famous because of the people involved. and who will believe her? She ain‟t got any evidences to prove herself. David (1996) stated that court decision will be really based on the facts and evidences presented by both parties. So I think yes the case is kinda famous because of the people involved. including me cannot believed that Custodio can do such…it is an act of lasciviousness in our language.” (Many knew that Custodio and Vertido had an illicit affair. Because in the court evidences are really the basis and not hearsay. I am not saying that I know the truth because I was not there and both parties can lie…but if you are the judge it is lawful that you judge based on the presented facts and evidences. For me I don‟t want to be one sided but the evidences are really important here . This means that both parties are high profile while 15 out of 20 respondents believed that Custodio and Vertido have a relationship during those times (March 1996). They are two people who are well educated and everyone got shocked that Vertido filed a case against his boss nang ganun na lang and at same time who was considered to be her lover… Many people. The accused. It just so happen that there was no enough evidence against Custodio. and who will believe her? She ain‟t got any evidences to prove herself.

. Alam mo naman sa ating bansa. of course he has position and wealthy. di ko lang maalala yung exact year no?. eh sigurado na ang mga kaibigan niya ay mga big time rin. may kapangyarihan and president ng Chamber of Commerce kaya madami talagang nagulat nung pumutok ang balita na may rape na nangyari. it‟s a human rights treaty made for women.e. pag may pera. a very wealthy and politically influential man in Davao. that was on 1980‟s. He is really rich and influential. Jose B. if you have money then you have power and he is the president of the Chamber of Commerce so many got shocked when the news came out that the rape incident happened. Vertido was the executive director of the Davao Chamber of Commerce (DCC). Human Rights Treaty “OP-CEDAW. You know here in our country. The respondents were asked what they know about the OPCEDAW. Many knew him this way and so walang naniniwala na may kasalanan si Custodio. at mayaman. who also happened to be the past president of DCC and 1983 Senate President of JCI (Junior Chamber International). a. I‟m sure that his friends are high profile. Optional Protocol of CEDAW. Many knew him this way and so walang naniniwala na may kasalanan si Custodio. described both parties. (Custodio is really a respected man. siyempre may position eh...) – Female Judge 3 “For your information Jose Custodio was the president of Davao City Chambers and Industry and he was also the Davao Senate President of the JCI. social life 42 . that was on 1980‟s. As journalist. He is so decent and reputable in the eyes of many. kaya nga respetado siya ng lahat and to think businessman din yan. Gina Misson (2010). He is so decent and reputable in the eyes of many. the 60-year old boss of Vertido was really influential in the business industry. Custodio “Si Custodio is a really respected man. which won the "Most Outstanding Chamber of Commerce" under her leadership in 1995 and Jose Custodio. I just cannot remember the exact year.) -Male lawyer 7 All the respondents said that Jose Custodio. Many knew him this way and no one believes that Custodio committed a crime. He is really rich and influential. it removes discrimination against women in their private and public.that is why he is respected by everyone and to think he is also a businessman.” (For your information Jose Custodio was the president of Davao City Chambers and Industry and he was also the Davao Senate President of the JCI.

political.– Male lawyer 3 “The Optional Protocol of CEDAW is a human rights treaty.” – Female Judge 1 “Ang Optional Protocol para tong legal instrument. social. lalo na ang women‟s rights.and it sanctions discrimination committed by any individual. as well as civil and political rights).). the recommendations and findings of Committee can be used to raise awareness and somehow mobilise women to demand their rights. government officials and non-governmental or groups of individuals. etc. Sakop nito ay maraming sektor. and sanction discrimination perpetrated by both government officials and non-governmental individuals. Eliminate discrimination against women in public and private or family life. It strengthens national women‟s rights machinery kasi it eliminates violations against human rights. Basing it on the number of respondents. sa civil at political rights. social. 43 . economic. It basically removes discrimination against women in different aspects of their lives. Seventeen (17) out of 20 respondents cited that they know OP-CEDAW as a human rights treaty that complements the CEDAW Convention. related to an existing convention or covenant yung CEDAW which deals with different points na hindi na-cover ng convention or covenant. something like a mini convention related to an existing convention or covenant. especially women‟s rights. cultural. civil. by this.”(This treaty seeks to eliminate discrimination against women.Male lawyer 6 “Basically. the CEDAW which deals with different points that are not covered in the convention or covenant. groups or enterprises ( " C E D A W K n o w l e d g e R e s o u r c e " ) . It includes many sectors.” – Female lawyer 4 Optional Protocol of CEDAW is a that treaty seeks to: Eliminate discrimination against women in the exercise of their economic. something like a mini convention siguro. social and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.”( The Optional Protocol is like a legal instrument. private. public spheres. economic. It strengthens national women‟s rights machinery because it eliminates violations against human rights. ang OP-CEDAW is a treaty na tumutulong para matanggal ang diskriminasyon sa mga kababaihan. economic. It is a treaty that cross-cut in all fields. this shows that most of the respondents have basic knowledge about the OPCEDAW.

This can be used if yung country mo mismo ay nag-violate ng women‟s rights meaning walang nagawa yung country mo for you.” ( Yes of course I know those procedures. first of all it is needed that the state is a party of CEDAW and the protocol. The inquiry procedure. sa mga procedures na ito kailangan unang-una. This can be used if your country has violated women‟s rights meaning your country wasn‟t able to do something to defend your rights specifically women‟s rights.7 or 8 months ata? Just check it cause I‟m not that sure. The procedure in communication procedure is longer. In the Inquiry procedure all of the findings and recommendations will be transmitted to the State party.”(The Inquiry procedure. the Committee of CEDAW I mean has the right to question. to investigate the country and so it is helpful to women.Female lawyer 5 “What is good about this Inquiry Procedure is that this allows CEDAW to investigate the state party. to defend your rights specifically women‟s rights. around 6. the Committee may visit the State Party mismo. in these procedures . Mas mahaba ang procedure netong communication procedure. yung state ay party ng CEDAW. The inquiry procedure. Yung committee can observe then mag-investigate about any crime against the rights of the women that were committed by the state…Lahat ng resulta sa nagawang investigation and some comments na rin will be passed to the State party concerned. At times of incidents for example mass killing of women activist or gang rape or any crime committed against women in a large-scale. this is the one Karen Vertido used. And the Communication Procedure. The other one is the communication procedure. Sa mga oras ng insidente for example mass killing ng mga women activist or di kaya mga gang rape or any crime commited against women in a large-scale. the Committee may visit the State 44 . the Committee of CEDAW I mean has the right to question. There is also a deadline. At itong Communications Procedure na ito.) . Yung isa naman the communication procedure. based on what I know is a mechanism set-up under OP-CEDAW with the consent of the State Party of course. based on what I know lang is a mechanism setup under OP-CEDAW with the consent of the State Party siyempre. after receiving the recommendations or whatsoever the state is required to respond. to investigate the country and so nakakatulong ito sa mga women. after receiving the recommendation or whatsoever the state is required to respond. May deadline din yan. around 6. it is more of filing complaints against violations commited by the state.” (What is good about this Inquiry Procedure is that this allows CEDAW to investigate the state party. 7 or 8 months I guess? Just check it cause I‟m not that sure.) – Male lawyer 6 “The Inquiry procedure. pati ng protocol. it is more of filing complaints against violations committed by the state.b. Sa Inquiry procedure lahat ng findings and recommendations ay para sa State party. this is the one Karen Vertido used. Article 2 and 8 of OP-CEDAW “Yes of course I know those procedures.

Party itself. The committee can observe and investigate about any crime against the rights of the women that were committed by states. All the results following the investigation and also some comments will be passed to the State party concerned.) – Female lawyer 1
“To avail the communication procedure, like Karen Vertido diba it should be first in writing. Lahat dapat ng importanteng detalye, the dates, the facts, etc everything that is related and will prove na may nangyaring sexual offense or rape as for the case of Karen should be included in the complaint. At pinaka-importante sa lahat ay it is required na lahat ng remedies na maaaring gamitin ay nagamit na, meaning there is no other way but to use the procedure.” (To avail the communication

procedure, like Karen Vertido it should be first in writing. All important details, the dates, the facts, etc everything that is related and will prove that there is sexual offense or rape as for the case of Karen should be included in the complaint. Most importantly, it is required that all remedies that can be used were already been used, meaning there is no other way but to use the procedure.) - Male judge 2
“The communication process actually ay di kailangan galing talaga sa biktima. We should know that someone on behalf of the victim can also avail this mechanism, with or without the consent of the victim kasi there are some situations na unique and the CEDAW is open to these circumstances. Provided na nandun lahat ng kailangan ng Committee ng CEDAW and it should be written ha, then that someone can work on the communication.” (The communication process should not

necessarily come from the victim. We should know that someone on behalf of the victim can also avail this mechanism, with or without the consent of the victim because there are some situations that are unique and the CEDAW is open to these circumstances. Provided that everything that is needed is already there and it should be written then that someone can work on the communication.)– Female lawyer 3 Article 2 of the OP-CEDAW provides a Communications Procedure which allows either individuals or groups of individuals to submit individual complaints to the Committee. Communications may also be submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, with their consent, unless it can be shown why that consent was not received. Whereas Article 8 establishes an Inquiry Procedure that allows the Committee to initiate a confidential investigation by one or more of its members where it has received reliable information of grave or systematic violations by a State Party of rights established in the Convention. Where warranted and with the consent of the State Party, the Committee may visit the territory of the 45

State Party. Any findings, comments or recommendations will be transmitted to the State Party concerned, to which it may respond within six months (OP-CEDAW, 2008). All respondents are knowledgeable about the “Communications Procedure” and “Inquiry Procedure”.

c. CEDAW and OP-CEDAW
“Walang OP-CEDAW kung walang CEDAW. Ang OP-CEDAW ay di gumagawa ng bago and additional na karapatan, what it creates are procedures… iba‟t ibang paraan para ma-address at gawing tama ang mga mali.” ( Without CEDAW there will be no OP-CEDAW. The

OP-CEDAW does not create new substantive rights. It creates procedures for addressing and rectifying violations of rights established in the CEDAW.) – Female lawyer 8
“CEDAW was approved in 1979 by the UN GA, United Nations General Assembly. The CEDAW is an international human rights treaty that focuses on global women‟s rights and issues. So together with this CEDAW is the Optional Protocol, Ito na yung OP-CEDAW na sinasabi niyo , the OP creates mechanisms to ensure the implementation of CEDAW by providing an opportunity for specific compensation in individual cases, when a state violates women‟s rights. Under this CEDAW, is a committee that emphasizes the need for more effective remedies at the national level. And I know na alam niyo na ang Philippines is a signatory to the CEDAW. CEDAW was approved in 1979 by the UN GA, United Nations General Assembly.”( CEDAW was

approved in 1979 by the UN GA, United Nations General Assembly. The CEDAW is an international human rights treaty that focuses on global women‟s rights and issues. So together with this CEDAW is the Optional Protocol, this is the OP-CEDAW you are talking about, the OP creates mechanisms to ensure the implementation of CEDAW by providing an opportunity for specific compensation in individual cases, when a state violates women‟s rights. Under this CEDAW, is a committee that emphasizes the need for more effective remedies at the national level. And I know that you already know that Philippines is a signatory to the CEDAW. CEDAW was approved in 1979 by the UN GA, United Nations General Assembly.)- Female lawyer 2 OP-CEDAW is a human rights treaty that complements the CEDAW Convention. The human rights guarantees established by the CEDAW Convention are far-reaching. Only State parties to the CEDAW Convention can become state parties to the OP-CEDAW. A State has to ratify or accede to the OP-CEDAW in order to become bounded by it (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008). Ten (10) respondents emphasized the same statement.

46

Whereas Twelve (12) out of 20 respondents mentioned that a state is not obliged to ratify OP-CEDAW, this is in support of the book, Enforcing the Charter for the Rights and Freedoms of Women in the Kurdish Region and Diaspora of K. Yildiz (2005). It was specified in the book that the OP-CEDAW is an optional undertaking and state parties to the CEDAW Convention are not required to ratify or accede to the OP-CEDAW. They can, however, be encouraged to do so by civil society or NGO campaigns for ratification. Moreover, the Communications Procedure and Inquiry Procedure are not mutually exclusive to ratify. Yildiz also mentioned about CEDAW Convention and the OP-CEDAW acting as a pair.

Complaint mechanism availed by Karen Vertido on the OP-CEDAW. The respondents were asked to share their knowledge on the communication procedure availed by Karen Vertido on the OP-CEDAW. a. Seven Myths
“As I can remember nasabi ni Vertido na ang biktima di kailangan tumakas sa lahat ng oras, tapos may na i-complain siya about ejaculation matter and yung about sa edad ni Custodio, kasi bakit kung 60 years old na yung tao di na ba kayang makipagtalik at mang-rape?” ( As I can

remember Vertido said that a victim should not try to escape at all times then she also complained about ejaculation matter and the age of Custodio complaining that does a 60 year old man not capable of having sex and committing rape?)- Male lawyer 6
“ Ay daghan man to siya ug reklamo, first sa element ng rape ata yun, if ma-rape ba daw ang tao dapat mutakas ba jud daw , dapat ba may evidence just to prove that there is a direct threat and sigurado ba na githreaten ang biktima ng rapist, unsa pa to.. about sa ability ng isang 60 year old man na mangrape..Kani man tong mga myths diba?”. (She has

many complaints, first I think about the element of rape, If someone is being raped, should that someone try to escape, should there be an evidence just to prove that there is a direct threat, is it sure that the victim is being threatened by the rapist, what else…about the ability of a 60 year old man to commit rape. These are the myths right?.) - Male Judge 4
“Obviously she was against the decision of the RTC. She criticized the decision because the decision were based on so called myths and if I am not mistaken some of these includes the need of strong evidence if may rape ba talaga, Custodio was able to ejaculate in his 60s, and they know

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Vertido’s Testimonial The respondents were also asked if they are familiar with some of the powerful words of Vertido against the Republic of the Philippines.” (Obviously she was against the decision of the RTC. and also by cowering in submission because of fear. She criticized the decision because the decision were based on so called myths and if I am not mistaken some of these includes the need of strong evidence if rape really happened. The seven myths are the following: (1) A rape victim must try to escape at every opportunity. A portion of her complaint.each other so that makes rape nearly impossible. Pasensiya na ha? Yung iba naman ay di ko maalala pero yes I am familiar with the mechanism. (5) It is problematic when a rape victim reacts to the assault by resisting the attack. They are therefore familiar with the complaint being filed but when it comes to details they possess a lesser degree of knowledge. (6) The rape victim could not have resisted the sexual attack if the accused were able to proceed to ejaculation and (7) It is unbelievable that a man in his sixties would be capable of rape. the complaint mechanism.. I hold my state accountable for a judge who at best is ignorant about laws and the realities of women. there must be a clear evidence of a direct threat. and who may 48 . the Philippines. & C u s a c k ( 2 0 1 1 ) specified that in her complaint before the committee. (2) To be raped by means of intimidation. “I hold this state.). I‟m really sorry. Custodio was able to ejaculate in his 60s. accountable for rape… happening within its boundaries. Vertido said the Davao Regional Trial Court peddled seven myths when it acquitted Custodio. as quoted from a December 10. I cannot remember the others but yes I am familiar with the mechanism. and they know each other so that makes rape nearly impossible. (3) To conclude that a rape occurred by means of threat. 2010 article of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. the victim must be timid or easily cowed. (4) The fact that the accused and the victim are “more than nodding acquaintances" makes the sex consensual.Female lawyer 1 T i m m e r . All respondents were able to enumerate some of the seven.. the complaint mechanism. read. b.

– Female Lawyer 6 “Oo naman. “UN ruling on Vertido rape case hailed” by Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) updated on November 02. but only people who are truly capable of trying women‟s cases. “ Yes.2011. I claim restitution for having been violated first by one depraved man. The Karen Vertido Case had been broadcasted in different news articles and television programs. 2010. basically it‟s about the method how to handle cases of rape in the Philippines. and more recently.be corrupt at worst. and the court should be fair at all times and the need to get rid of the gender biased concepts. and then later by a society that says it is okay to rape women…” All of the respondents said that they are familiar with the statement. I cannot remember the exact words in the recommendation but I‟m familiar with this because I think it was last year I was able to teach this in my class). internet and television brought it to public. I cannot remember the exact words in the recommendation pero I‟m familiar with this kasi last year ata yun I was able to teach this in my class”. All respondents said media. I claim every inalienable right and every right this country promised to me as its citizen. Ako I‟m aware about the training for lawyers pati mga judges tungkol ito sa siyempre pag-handle ng mga rape cases tapos how to be gendersensitive. (Yes. 2009. tama ba ang mga pinagsasabi ko mga iha? Basta basically it‟s about the method how to handle cases of rape in the Philippines. I‟m familiar with those kasi tinutukan ko yang Vertido case. I call on my state not to put such people to become judges. The respondents were asked if they know the recommendations of the OP-CEDAW with regards to the case. I know some of the recommendations…In handling rape cases there should be no delays. specifically newspapers. oh well that is important…then redefine rape or i-update ang mga elements of rape. the news article “Silent Victims” of Manila Bulletin‟s Angelo G. yes. and the court should be fair at all times and the need to get rid of the gender biased concepts . to protection of my honor. yes. Garcia dated June 6. 2010. 49 . Recommendations of the OP-CEDAW. from protection of my body. I know some of the recommendations…In handling rape cases there should be no delays. the article “Revisiting Rape” by Elizabeth Angsioco published in Manila Standard Today dated October 30. Kasi nga daw makitid yung definition ng rape. Some are the following: “Case Unclosed: laban ni Karen Vertido” featured in GMA NewsTV on September 18. my livelihood.

I know some…CEDAW proposed the government na magkaroon ng voluntary agreement and the recommendation to have a broad scope of forced or coercive conditions…Nalaman ko rin about yung CEDAW recommended the judges and lawyers to have regular training about the Convention and the OP-CEDAW. 19 of the Committee.) – Male Judge 2 Article 1 of the Convention and general recommendation No. very limited and it is not applicable to everyone and to different circumstances.very limited and di applicable sa lahat ng tao and to different circumstances.) – Male lawyer 5 “Am I familiar? Yes. and makes the following recommendations to the State party: (a) Concerning the author of the communication: Provide appropriate compensation commensurate with the gravity of the violations of her rights (b) General: Take effective measures to ensure that court proceedings involving rape allegations are pursued without undue delay. Ensure that all legal procedures in cases involving crimes of rape and other sexual offenses are impartial and fair. And I think the main recommendation there was to remove the gender based stereotypes in rape and other sexual cases. (ii) Remove any requirement in the legislation that sexual assault be committed by force or violence. and not affected by prejudices or stereotypical gender notions. oh well that is important… then redefine rape or update the elements of rape. a wide range of measures are needed. I‟m aware about the training for lawyers and also the judges. targeted at the legal system. (i) Review of the definition of rape in the legislation so as to place the lack of consent at its center. I‟m familiar with those because I was able to follow the Vertido case. To achieve this.”(Of course. this is about how to handle rape cases how to be gender-sensitive then. It is because the definition of rape is very narrow. and any requirement of proof of penetration.”( Am I familiar? Yes. and minimize secondary victimization of the complainant/survivor in proceedings by enacting a definition of sexual assault that either: requires the existence of “unequivocal and voluntary agreement” and requiring proof by the accused of steps taken to ascertain whether the 50 . I know some…CEDAW proposed the government to have a voluntary agreement and the recommendation to have a broad scope of forced or coercive conditions…I also came to know that CEDAW recommended the judges and lawyers to have regular training about the Convention and the OP-CEDAW. As for me. And sa tingin ko ang main recommendation doon was to remove the gender based stereotypes in rape and other sexual cases.

Male lawyer 1 The State party is also requested to publish the Committee‟s recommendations and have it translated into Filipino and other regional languages and to be dispersed in order to reach all sectors of society (Timmer and Cusack.” (iii) Appropriate and regular training on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Then of course after translation there is a need to distribute them properly so that people will know. (iv) Appropriate training for judges. its Optional Protocol and its general recommendations. and not affected by stereotypical gender notions and the need of appropriate trainings for judges. law enforcement officers and medical forces were the most mentioned recommendations. lawyers.). Then after translation siyempre there is a need to distribute them properly para malaman naman ng mga tao. The general recommendations about ensuring that all legal procedures in rape cases should be impartial and fair. A respondent added about the need of translating and distributing the views and recommendation.complainant/survivor was consenting. 19.” (The government should publish CEDAW‟s views and recommendations. lawyers. in particular general recommendation No. 2011). for judges. lawyers and law enforcement personnel. “The government should publish CEDAW‟s views and recommendations. Translate this to Filipino and other regional languages. 51 . or requires that the act take place in “coercive circumstances” and includes a broad range of coercive circumstances. All the respondents mentioned some of the recommendations of the OP-CEDAW to the Philippines however they were not able to identify all. Translate this to Filipino and other regional languages. law enforcement officers and medical personnel in understanding crimes of rape and other sexual offences in a gender-sensitive manner so as to avoid revictimization of women having reported rape cases and to ensure that personal mores and values do not affect decision-making (CEDAW/C/46/D/18/2008).

The respondents know OP-CEDAW as a human rights treaty that has two procedures: communications procedure and inquiry procedure however no states are obliged to ratify this treaty. elimination of gender biased concepts and the need for speedy trial. the respondents became familiar with Vertido‟s testimonial against her state because of the media. CUSTODIO COMMUNICATIO N PROCEDURE TESTIMONIAL INQUIRY PROCEDURE TRANSLATION CAREER WOMAN FIRST ASIAN TO USE COMMUNICATIO N PROCEDURE INFLUENTIAL DEMANDING SEVEN MYTHS MEDIA UPDATE THE DEFINITION OF RAPE ELIMINATION OF GENDER BIASED CONCEPTS SPEEDY TRIAL Figure 1. The filing of communication procedure was considered by some respondents as demanding and the so called seven myths were being mentioned by the respondents. Don't forget your recommendations and proper citations for your Chapter 4! II. updating the definition of rape. The recommendations they know comprise of trainings. Perceptions 52 . Vertido as a career woman and the first Asian to use communication procedure while Custodio is said to be influential. Vertido and Jose B.Knowledge of the respondents in the Karen Vertido Case and OP-CEDAW The respondents identified the two parties involved in the case as Karen T. In addition to this.KNOWLEDGE OP-CEDAW KAREN VERTIDO CASE HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY OPTIONAL UNDERTAKING TWO PROCEDURES RECOMMENDATIO NS PARTIES INVOLVED COMPLAINT MECHANISM COMMUNICATIO NS PROCEDURE TRAININGS KAREN TVERTIDO JOSE B. Custodio. translation.

jurisprudence thoroughly explained in it. even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. Karen stated she was deemed to have consented to the intercourse because she did not resist the advances of the accused and “she did not escape when she appeared to have had so many opportunities to do so”. the city-wide reaction.) They believe that the result was based on evidences. Furthermore. a bellboy from the motel. (thirteen [13] respondents believe the outcome of the case was justified. did not occur that night.” – Female Lawyer 2 Judge Europa. facts and the law. claimed that there was no noise that came from the room and thus no foul play involved. and OP-CEDAW‟s recommendations. the role of various‟ actors all-throughout the duration of the case. The Court’s Decision. “The judge who rendered the Decision is a no-nonsense judge. they were shared their insight on the court‟s ruling. laws. the decision of the court should be respected because it followed due protocol. Not all cases 53 . They also think that the judge who presided over the case was fair and respected and that the claims supported themselves. “Well… Let‟s let the facts speak for themselves. and (2) by any person who. into the genital or anal orifice of another person. One witness. or object. under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof. Rape.” – Male Judge 1 The Anti-Rape law of 1997 defines rape as follows: “Rape is committed (1) by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) through force. c) by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority. It was consensual. by its very definition. In 2008.The respondents were asked for their perceptions regarding the case and the OPCEDAW. specifically. Judge Virginia Europa was awarded Judicial Achievement Award as the Regional Trial Court Judge by the Philippine Judges Association. The decision was supported by all the facts. or any other part of the body such as fingers or toes. the decision was arrived at after taking into considerations all the evidences presented by both parties. or any instrument. The lawyers and judges shared their view on the court‟s ruling.” In her communication to the OP CEDAW. investigation and the like. b) when the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person‟s mouth or anal orifice. and d) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years old of age or is demented. threat or intimidation.

respected by many. especially in rape cases. Marital rape may occur when a spouse is unable to consent to the intercourse (Bergen. no evidence na may rape. boyfriends and intimate partners). friends. Remember most rapists are not strangers to the victim. So what I think about the decision of the court. it was lawful. to acquit Custodio because there was bit enough evidence. physical violence may not be present – there is. unfair sa part ng babae. While rape on the whole often involves certain degrees of physical violence. it was lawful. this is unfair on the part of the woman. Sabi nila na for Jose Custodio. Judges will really base their decision on facts and evidence. the ones who commit the act of rape are acquaintances of the victims. personally is that the decision was based on some gender myths kaya biased ang decision for me. halatang-halata na walang rape because walang ingay. or that she was the paramour of Custodio so it‟s impossible that she‟d be raped – this shouldn‟t always be a basis for such things. Mostly sa mga rape cases ang mga naga-commit ug rape kay mga kaila lang (Yes. it‟s because they only have one view of women. to acquit Custodio kasi walang ebidensiya eh. Now if this is the case na magkakilala sila and medyo may edad na itong si Custodio it doesn‟t mean na imposible na talaga ang rape… and I don‟t think kailangan may ebidensiya na may threat sa biktima. – Female Lawyer 7 “Sige ganito. pinag-aaralan ng husto ang kaso at di basta-basta ang mag-akusa ng kahit sinuman (Many people know that the two were in a relationship of sorts. dili maggeneralize. it‟s impossible to do something like that and not to his co-worker of course kasi magkakilala sila. automatic submissive. Mostly in rape cases. it‟s obvious Vertido loses but what I 54 . 1992. if we based it on facts halatang talo si Vertido but what I see. daghan gaingon na uyab daw sila or kabit2x daw siya ni Custodio kaya impossible daw na marape pero dili na siya always ang basehan. iisa lang kasi ang tingin sa mga kababaihan. (Ambekar.of rape need the instances of rape that occur in this way can be defined as consensual. there was a widespread rumor that they were lovers. Dapat ang korte. Judges will really base their decision on facts and evidence. 7 respondents believe that the decision was unfair. Tan-aw man gud sa mga tao pag babae. (If we base it on facts. So I think about the decision of the court. that‟s why the woman had sex with the man. at least like neighbours. 2009) “Maraming nakakaalam na magkasintahan tong dalawa kaya naman itong si babae pumayag makipagtalik kay lalaki. As for the case of Karen. Russell. there was obviously no rape. 1996. “Yes. walang witness na makakapagsabi na may nangyari ngang krimen. The court shouldn‟t generalize. People tend to automatically judge women as submissive. in marital rape. the verdict was right. Dito na naman lumalabas ang misconception tungkol sa mga babae.” . they scrutinize the cases cautiously and don‟t haphazardly accuse just anyone). following his/her own personal bias. Pagelow. 1990). As for the case of Karen ha. tama lang ang naging verdict ng kaso. a 60 something year old man. rooted in gender myths. lalo na sa mga rape cases. no witness could say that a crime was committed that night. Here we see another misconception about women.Male Lawyer 2 On the other hand. instead of coercion and some amount of force to control the victim.

even aged 60 can commit a crime like rape. what they were supposed to do “did not materialize” at which point she suggested they get together at a later time. gender misconception is obviously present. Now if this is the case. even aged 60 can commit a crime like rape. He then decided to proceed to model after she seemed receptive to his “naughty advances.” – Female Lawyer 6 “Part of the decision is that Custodio was acquitted because he‟s already sixty then naka-ejaculate pa daw tong si Custodio pero kung ako lang I really believe that a man. the act of rape is farfetched?) For me this is so unfair. respected by many. she suddenly became very quiet in the car. At the motel room. The case he had filed against her husband in 1987 was also cited (In 1987. However. In a letter to the city prosecutor‟s office. Being upset. that doesn‟t mean that the act of rape is impossible… and I don‟t think there is a need to show evidence that there was a threat to the victim). she insisted on taking a taxi home. Ang masaklap pa dito ay magkakilala sila and so malabo ang rape? (Part of the decision is Custodio was acquitted because he‟s already sixty then he was able to ejaculate but if you were to ask me I really believe that a man. Indonesia and the possibility that Karen might be able to join this trip. After the encounter at the motel. They say Jose Custodio. Vertido filed a rape case. she promptly took off her clothes and waited for him to undress. Karen‟s husband. Custodio filed a civil suit against DEMCOR.” Being a married woman.). a 60-something year old man. Dam said he had completely forgotten about this case as he left the company in 1988. because she was angry that the promise of the Manado trip was not discussed again. What‟s worse is that the two know each other so.see. personally is that the decision was based on some gender myths that‟s why for me. He did not believe her. They held hands while he drove.” Custodio suggested that they begin “a longer relationship” in which they “can help each other. a company that Dam Vertido.” – Female Lawyer 8 The narrative of Custodio‟s side of the story (pieced together from stenographic notes during the preliminary investigation of the case by journalist Randy David states that in the car. she said it was her first time to go out with another man. that they were acquaintances and that Custodio is quite old. according to Custodio. Custodio and Vertido discussed a forthcoming trip Manado. but did not say so. She was disappointed that neither the Manado trip nor the proposed “relationship” was brought up again. the decision was biased. it‟s impossible to do something like that and not to his co-worker of course because they knew each other personally. supposedly. worked for as general bmanager. That case remains unresolved. 55 .

Almost all complainants I know experienced delay. Sa ating bansa. Futhermore. However.1 – The respondents‟ view on the court decision was divided. kuwan it really takes a long time to decide. There really are many delays… Because you have to obtain evidence. 15 out of 20 believe that the case was not held lawfully in terms of time but take into account that such is the norm in the Philippine judicial system. loopholes which can create delays. Time. we lawyers have a maxim that justice delayed is justice not served at all. yung pagkamit ng hustisya ay sobrang bagal kung unmusad. for the rules of criminal procedures provide for several ways. Those who believe the ruling was sound justified that the evidences presented were supportive to the defendant. still. All agencies/apartments/offices contributed to the delay in the resolution of the case. di lang nga magkatulad. we can‟t blame the court alone. it really takes a long time to decide. It‟s unfair for the people involved). (Because cases like these. It really invokes a long process.” . Wala ng magugulat. But in the same way that the public has come to accept delay as deeply rooted in our culture. Those who viewed the judge‟s ruling as unjust claimed that it was steeped in gender myths and personal bias. Marami talagang delays… Kasi kailangan pang i-obtain ang evidence. “It was not. Unfair naman for the people involved. Filipino time. the judges involved were “no-nonsense” and that proper protocol was observed throughout the case. mahilig tayo diyan and parte na iyan ng ating culture and so delayed proceedings are viewed as simply normal.Court Decision Unjust Gender Myths Personal Bias Justified Supportive Evidences Proper Protocol Figure 2. The case remained at the trial court level for 8 years.Male Lawyer 6 “Kung ang mga government services nga ay prone sa mga delays and so the judiciary is no exception. Furthermore. It really invokes a long process.” – Female Lawyer 3 “Kasi ang mga cases na ganito. 56 Respectful Judges . they experienced delays in different forms. we lawyers have a maxim that justice delayed is justice not served at all.

Depende yan eh. About half of the number of Justices accomplished more than the minimum requirement of 12 cases. very hard to judge. just not the same kind. (Government services themselves are prone to delays and so the judiciary is no exception. it would be even more shocking I suppose if there was no delay [laughs]). Judging from the circumstances and nature of the case. gang. there were 5 respondents who felt that the case was indeed solved in an adequate amount of time. we‟re fond of that part of our culture and so delayed proceedings are viewed as simply normal. Under the Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR). or about 13 to 14 cases per Justice. achieve zero backlogs in the higher courts. In his article “Culture of Delay. In our country. Jr. the courts' functioning depends on the extent of resources of the parties. Due to the Zero Backlog Project. Dili dyud na siya maiwasan (There is lot of red tape. “I believe so. However.mas nakakagulat pa nga siguro kung walang delay. an informal local system for arbitrating or mediating certain problems operates outside the formal court system.387 cases as of August 31. the CA averaged a monthly disposal of 850 decisions. obtaining justice takes a really long time.” Male Judge 1 “Sa totoo lang. promote alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods by institutionalizing mediation and computerizing the internal processes of the judiciary and making them more transparent.” Judge Martin S. The country is also set to implement the computerization of the Management Information System (MIS). From a total of 11. It really can‟t be avoided). in the one-year period between June 2005 and June 2006.” – Male Lawyer 3 “Daghan man gud red tape. Villarama. to present evidence and to appeal. girl.” – Male Lawyer 9 In the Encyclopedia of the Nations. which will serve as a tracker of cases from completion stage until final disposition. still. There is no jury system. bumagal rin yung kaso kasi Custodio filed 57 . Rape cases are very. No one gets shocked. to both parties and length of time it took for their dispute to be finally resolved. Almost all complainants I know experienced delay. matagal talaga (it would‟ve really taken a long time). in the Philippines.343 cases submitted for decision in 2001. Filipino time. the CA reduced its backlog to 9. they experienced delays in different forms. Defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence and have the right to confront witnesses. it is stated that. But in the same way that the public has come to accept delay as deeply rooted in our culture. states that the Supreme Court has resolutely addressed the problem of clogged dockets and worked incessantly to reduce and eliminate backlog of cases especially in the lower courts. complementary projects are being implemented to improve case flow. 2007.

Sixteen (16) out of 20 respondents said that the people of Davao City reacted positively towards the decision of the court. 2010) Time expected due to accepted due to Loopholes Red Tape Lengthy Process Figure 2.” (Tesorero. led by Lyda J. Custodio further charged that another factor leading to the delay was Quitain‟s role as adviser to the women‟s rights movement called Gender Watch II.” – Male Lawyer 3 Prior to the case being handled by Judge Europa. “Majority agreed to the ruling. that‟s why I have nothing against the length of time.several motions kaya I have nothing against the length of time. Custodio described the judge‟s conduct in the case as “injurious. the presiding judge was RTC Judge Jess Quitain. I think there was no question about it. the courts‟ functioning depends on the extend of resources of the parties. a prime supporter of Vertido. Other respondents accepted the duration due to the lengthy judicial process in the Philippines. kahit umabot ito ng more than 5 years (Honestly. also Custodio filed several motions which led to the lengthened the time of the case. The Public’s Reaction. Canson. the delay was due to the repeated refusal of Quitain to inhibit himself from the case – this despite several urgent motions filed by Custodio‟s lawyers with the Supreme Court to restrain Quitain from hearing the case due to a long-drawn personal grudge between him and the judge. to both parties and length of time it took for their dispute to be finally resolved.” Male Lawyer 1 58 . It depends.The respondents who felt the long duration of the case was expected posited that there are many loopholes and red tape found in the judicial system.2 . According to Custodio. even if it reached more than 5 years).

For some. I think that majority went with the judge‟s ruling on the case. due to the many flashbacks which would render her virtually catatonic. She and her two children had to relocate to Manila because they had become publicly recognizable in Davao. He was (or is) a well-respected man. as did she and her husband. Her family had to undergo therapy. said otherwise.”. it feels disheartening to hear about it.” – Male Judge 2 “It is hard to say how Davao reacted as a whole. the women felt that they “lost the battle. In the 14 years since. – Female Lawyer 7 Rina-Jimenez David states in her article „Karen‟s Vindication‟ that immediately after the rape and upon reaching home. ang mga babae.” When you advocate something like this. noting that several women‟s rights-based NGOs held negative sentiments towards the ruling. This is because the two involved are prominent figures in their society… especially the accused. “On the day of the ruling. Nakakalungkot ang desisyon ng korte because we really believed that the evidences presented were insubstantial (On the day of the ruling. it feels disheartening to hear about it. The couple had to endure a commuter marriage due to Karen‟s husband‟s job requiring he stay in Davao. it‟s quite taboo to side with the girl. She also found that she could no longer hold down a job. Karen endured a trial that lasted eight years. 3 of whom were female. Within 48 hours. she reported the case to the police and filed a complaint against Custodio on April 1. there were four (4) respondents. they felt that natalo sila sa laban. 59 . but as the trial progressed. due to frequent changes in judges and delays in the procedure (including the flight of the accused and the ensuing manhunt as well as his frequent hospitalizations). The court decision was disheartening because we really believed that the evidences presented were insubstantial).““There was so much publicity and reaction from the people at that time. As for inside of the city‟s business circle. resented by the community for accusing a prominent citizen of rape. Karen told her husband about the incident and within 24 hours visited a medical examiner to have herself examined.Female Lawyer 3 However. she was replaced by man who was paid double the amount of her salary „so that there will be no repeat of the incident‟. At work. not so much. When you advocate something like this.

“Ang mga NGOs. in this context. Karen. were given protection) and opportunity to seek justice. They were able to give strong representation to women. they served as the voice of the oppressed. females as in all cases. in this context. to seek justice (The NGOs. nabigyang proteksyon (People like Karen. 60 . In the event that all means were exhausted.Female Lawyer 8 “They really see to it that the compromised sex. it was the NGOs that gave a way for Karen to seek justice). NGOs have been working to support women in the country within the broad framework of women in politics and decision making. In the event that all means were exhausted. be represented equally and fairly.” . Ang mga kagaya ni Karen. In a flawed system.” Female Lawyer 6 According to the 5th and 6th Philippine Progress Report on the Implementation of the CEDAW (2004).Figure 2. Thirteen (13) respondents stated that the NGOs acted where the Philippine government failed.3 – The respondents felt that most of the public agreed with the ruling for the judge‟s decision is final. ang mga NGOs ang nagbigay ng paraan lke kay. the NGOs serve as the means to pursue justice. They agreed that there were some loopholes in the system and that the NGOs expressed this flaw. The Role of NGOs. The respondents who disagreed feel that the evidences presented by the defendant were insubstantial. they served as the voice of the oppressed. Nabigyan ng strong representation ang mga babae.

minsan. they tend to be divergent. (The problem is that. Sometimes. The NGO provided Vertido with legal and financial assistance. documentation and research services. We follow a code of legal ethics.” Female Lawyer 4 “Nothing in particular. This slows down the entire thing). Role of Lawyers and Judges. We follow a code of legal ethics. they tend to be divergent. other respondents chose not to comment. sometimes. The Center for Legislative Development provides critical intervention to legislative staff. All respondents believe that the lawyers should be in line of legal ethics. legislators and NGOs through gender sensitivity training. nakakalimutan namin na maging impartial and we get too absorbed with a case.” – Female Judge 1 61 . Lawyers and judges are doing their respective jobs in term based on facts and law. “Ang problema is that. It also holds regular dialogues with other NGOs on legislative advocacy for women.4 – The respondents who answered all believed that the NGOs played a vital role in strengthening the voice of the oppressed. we forget to be impartial and we get too absorbed with a case. “ – Male Judge 2 “They can make or break the outcome of a case. Sometimes. these lawyers. ang mga lawyer. This slows down the entire thing. Role of NGOs beneficial to the oppressed no comment Figure 2.The Women‟s Legal Bureau conducts legal training and assistance for women which include training on women and feminist legal assistance.

pero (yes but) they are not without flaws. Kasi. and that they are the “playmakers”. for the complaints against the court.” . yes.Role of Lawyers and Judges Make or break outcome of case Did their part Figure 2. “The general recommendations were fine. yun naman talaga ang gusto natin as a country (Of course. Eight of the respondents believe that the recommendations made were fair and just. I conform as far as the violations of the complainant‟s rights.” Female Lawyer 8 “Syempre. particularly with the clauses that support the lack of a speedy trial for the complainant. because this is what we really want as a country). mas nabibigyang linaw ang (more light is shed on the) responsibilities na nakakalimutan ng (that are forgotten by) state parties… that are signatories of CEDAW. All of the respondents had strong positive sentiments about the usefulness of the Optional Protocol of CEDAW.” – Female Lawyer 6 “Mostly. And it just so happens that women are being discriminated just because of the fact that they are women. Four (4) of the respondents agree that the recommendations can be implemented without delay. We want to be as gender-fair as possible.” – Male Lawyer 2 Implementation of the OP CEDAW Recommendations Without Delay. “Indeed. Role of OP CEDAW. if you have a law that covers the entire women population of the world. oo. Things can be assessed and we will know what can be done to improve the status and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.5 – The respondents felt that the judges and lawyers fulfilled what was expected of them in the case.Female Lawyer 2 62 . “I believe. meaning it is they who can make or break the outcome of a case. it‟s more of a problem with the system. The legislature and the judiciary must work hand-in-hand. fair and timely. then. But.” Male Lawyer 5 Recommendations Made by the Committee of the OP CEDAW.

” – Male Lawyer 7 “The system is slow. but de facto? It‟s hazy. Siguro de jure. The system is not quick to change. – Female Lawyer 1 “It may be informative but it will fall to the jurisdiction of the special courts.” – Male Lawyer 8 63 . This will take a backseat to other policies with actual enforcing bodies. this is difficult to do. because it is important for us judges to become cognizant as our mandate to protect promote and fulfill the enjoyment of equal rights between women and men. not enforced.” – Male Lawyer 3 “Hardly. to adapt such things. You need to get a fixer to speed things up). Kailangan pang mag fix para mabilis (I hope so but given the current „Judicial Climate.” – Female Lawyer 4 Usefulness of the OP-CEDAW. I always ask clients for the truth before filing or defending a case. women‟s and human rights group have hailed it as an “important international legal document providing moral force for obtaining the human rights of women". “I hope so but given the current „Judicial Climate. “No. In the Philippine setting. The process here is slow. Fifteen (15) respondents believed that the OP-CEDAW will be beneficial to the country. ang bagal. Ang proseso kasi dito. “Yes. “tedious” one. implementation has always been a problem. both in my teaching and my practice.. Even registering a car takes a long time. Lawyers are used to it. given the current „Judicial Climate‟ of the Philippines.” – Female Lawyer 7 While the Convention does not have the legal capacity to impose sanctions and penalties against non-compliance for ratifying states. challenging. Kahit na kukuha ng rehistro sa kotse.” –Male Judge 1 “Yes.” – Male Judge 2 “Yes.‟ it remains uncertain. matagal. pero de facto? Malabo. Five (5) respondents deemed the OP-CEDAW‟s implementation a slow.‟ it remains uncertain.Sixteen (16) respondents believe that. knowing the tedious implementation process and slowness of decisions. It‟ll take a long time). Dugay-dugay pa na (Maybe de jure. it fills the gaps.

“I believe so… in fact. If no one enforces these.)” – Male Lawyer 9 “The country is still adjusting to gender equality. Perhaps. Kung walang mag-eenforce nito. may mga (there are) available measures gearing towards the elimination of discrimination on so called gender-based crimes. then… I doubt. then… I doubt. There are procedures now gearing towards speedy and early resolution of cases. it will be implemented but it will take a while. if forced. pero medyo matagaltagal pa. (Yes. Fourteen (14) believed that the recommendations will only come into full force if there is an implementing body. Siguro. there will be no sanction for non-compliance. For example. in rape cases. but I don‟t know – it‟s all speculative. if forced.” – Female Lawyer 4 “Yes.Compliance of the Philippines with the OP-CEDAW Recommendations.” – Male Judge 1 64 . walang sanctions for non-compliance. I hope so. The respondents were asked if they believe that the Philippines will abide by the OP. no more proof of penetration. ma-iimplement.

” 1. beneficial role to the country.6 The OP-CEDAW is seen as having a positive.” – Female Lawyer 8 65 . Three (3) respondents expressed uncertainty with the recommendation.” – Female Lawyer 7 “Decisions are based on previous decisions. One respondent (Female Lawyer 2) stated that these recommendations. improving the status of women. The view on the degree of its usefulness varies. “I find this very unfair for the accused in a rape case. As to its compliance. Seventeen said that the Philippines has not yet implemented the recommendations. Remove any requirement in the legislation that sexual assault be committed by force or violence. I think that this denotes equality in terms of emancipating women. and any requirement of proof of penetration. No woman in her right mind would invite herself to be sexually molested. The act takes place in “coercive circumstances” and includes a broad range of “coercive circumstances” “Not necessarily. a.” – Female Lawyer 2 “Not 100% sure. Parang. But. There were cases where the woman consented and when a 3rd person learned about it the woman would cry that she was raped. Seven (7) respondents felt that the recommendations were sound. yung sinabi mo nga (like what you said). you give them clear-cut definitions. those who find it very useful believe it fills the gaps left by our own judicial system. others see it as too slowly implemented to ever become useful .” – Male Lawyer 1 b. to define whether you are actually being raped. The respondents were asked whether or not they felt the each of the OP-CEDAW‟s recommendations have been implemented in the country. That‟s what I think it means. and minimize secondary victimization of the complainant/survivor in proceedings by enacting a definition of sexual assault that either: Ten (10) respondents believed that this recommendation is open to abuse. though beneficial to the women victims. is “unfair for the accused. the OP-CEDAW‟s lack of an implementing body is perceived negatively by the respondents Current compliance of the Philippines with the OP-CEDAW.Figure 2. The existence of “unequivocal and voluntary agreement” requiring proof by the accused of steps taken to ascertain whether the complainant/survivor was consenting.

but sources are limited. in particular general recommendation No. Nineteen respondents agree that the training will be beneficial to all judicial personnel. Financially.” – Female Lawyer 1 “Yes. no? This October magkakaroon ng prejudicature program sa Cagayan (Yes. – Male Lawyer 6 3. Anything to assist the upholders of justice.” – Female Lawyer 5 One respondent. “This is necessary. so we can always be updated in the latest developments in the judicial sector). para updated parati sa latest developments in the judicial sector (This is necessary. rape. this recommendation can be abused. Appropriate training for judges. Well.” – Male Lawyer 8 2. This has been their goal ever since… for example. though agreeing with the recommendation‟s usefulness.” – Male Lawyer 5 “Yes. pwedeng magsampa ng kaso ng rape (just about anyone could file a rape case) including non-victims. where are we going to get the additional budget required for this? Matagal pa ata yan mangyari (Of course.) for judges.( “States parties should ensure that laws against family violence and abuse. “Hmm… Regular training is good for lawyers. lawyers. I‟m all for it. expressed concern as to where the funding for “Oo naman. law enforcement officers and medical personnel in understanding crimes of rape and other sexual offence in a gender-sensitive manner so as to avoid as re-vicitmization of women having reported rape cases and to ensure that personal mores and values do not affect decision-making. there are already trainings for judges…. where are we going to get the additional budget required for this? That‟s going to take a long while). its Optional Protocol and its general recommendations. judges and law enforcement personnel… So. Marami silang programs that cater towards the improvement of judicial education.” – Male Lawyer 6 “If that were the case…kahit sino na lang. actually we are starting to. Alam niyo ba yung PHILJA? This stands for the Philippine Judicial Academy. Appropriate and regular training on CEDAW.“No. Keep in mind. but sources are limited. and respect their integrity and dignity”. sexual assault and other gender-based violence give adequate protection to all women. and law enforcement personnel. Financially. there are already trainings for judges… Do 66 . 19. but this needs to be further augmented. lawyers.

evidences.7 The respondents view the first recommendation as unfair for the defendant and open to abuse.)” – Male Lawyer 3 67 . therefore. – Male Judge 2 Current Compliance with O -CEDAW Removal of sign of violence Appropriate training of OPCEDAW Appropraite training in understanding rape unfair for defendant good necessary already implemented open to abuse however. limited sources PHILJA needs further augmentation Figure 2. the proceedings were systematically done. This is because the events that transpired were in accordance with the rules. “Shortcomings? What shortcomings? There are none. the events that transpired were in accordance with the rules. This has been their goal ever since… for example. Kasi nga diba. however there limited financial sources available for its implementation. The third training is seen as necessary and already implemented by PHILJA but needing further augmentation III. Limitations Shortcomings of a Court. evidences. (Shortcomings? What shortcomings? There are none. therefore. etc… The rulings of the court were based on facts. etc… The rulings of the court were based on facts. no? This October the will be holding a pre-judicature program in Cagayan).you know PHILJA? This stands for the Philippine Jucicial Academy. The second recommendation is viewed positively. it was systematically done. They have many programs that cater towards the improvement of judicial education. ang proceedings.

noting that. There should be a limit to the number of appeals one can make. May mga bagay na dapat nilang kinonsider… Delays can be and are usually caused by legal steps available to the accused. it was only through the mandatory legal education program that I had an exposure with these things. stating that there was a lapse in the court in terms of giving a verdict to the case.)” . also stated a lapse in the educational system. the system.Male Lawyer 5 The male lawyer.2 male judges and 8 male lawyers believe that the court. there was a bit of stereotyping. The court relied heavily on previous decisions of similar cases. when I was in law school. noting that the case was ruled relying on previous decisions. (Probably… Even at the early stages of the educational system.Female Lawyer 4 “I do believe that this case should have been an avenue for gender equality issues.” – Female Lawyer 8 However. such as filing for reconsideration. there was a bit of stereotyping. did not have any shortcomings. I don‟t know about how things are now. “Not the court itself but. They agreed that there were gender-equality issues in the local judicial system. “Siguro… sa educational system pa lang. when I was in law school. And. in a sense. but back then. They believed that the court did its part in passing judgment towards the case. “It‟s rooted in the culture… There is a culture of machismo pervading our country. If you look at the bigger picture. I don‟t know about how things are now. In fact. they were not immersed into these kinds of cases. but back then. This is the case in the US. there is already an inadequacy. (Not the court itself but. in the context of the Karen Vertido case. There are things that they should have considered… Delays can be and are usually caused by legal steps available to the accused. we didn‟t tackle these kinds of things eh. the system. There should be a limit to the number of appeals one can make. And. the remaining respondents (all women lawyers. one male lawyer and one female judge) believe otherwise. nagkaroon lang ako ng exposure sa mga ganitong bagay through the mandatory legal education program. in a sense.)” . as law students. may inadequacy na. such as filing for reconsideration. ang bias as 68 . In fact. we didn‟t tackle these kinds of things. who believes that the court had shortcomings. Ever since talaga. This is the case in the US[United States of America]. The court relied heavily on previous decisions of similar cases.

then there‟ the printing costs. Several of them agreed that there are barriers that prevent a speedy disposition. kulang ng prosecutors. How do we rebuild the life of the parties and families involved? Karen had to move her family from their home to protect them.)“ – Female Lawyer 6 “Sa outcome… after the case is resolved. Add to this the fact that we have a shortage of lowers. Our court dockets are clogged. (We have to get rid of these absurd. the lack of a speedy trial was evident. the bias we have as Filipinos is towards patriarchy and male authority.” – Female Lawyer 3 “We have to make resolutions of cases speedy and inexpensive. transport. So.Female Lawyer 2 In contention. If you look at the bigger picture. the assumption that women of power will be able to resist a man‟s advances kaya di sila mare-rape. victims are deterred from seeking out justice. So. In the past. the assumption that women of power will be able to resist a man‟s advances will result do them not being raped.)” . Legal fees alone are expensive.)” – Male Lawyer 8 14 out of the 20 respondents agreed that. Among these were the stereotyped gender myths pertaining to women. and take their toll on everyone involved.Filipinos is towards patriarchy and male authority. you could already see the cultural bias that we have. then what happens next? As much as possible. even back then. (There is a backlog of cases to be solved. For example. 69 . we ought to look after the welfare of rape victims even after the case is over. (It‟s rooted in the culture… There is a culture of machismo pervading our country ever since. the conclusion that rich people win because they are rich and poor people lose because they are poor.”– Male Lawyer 7 “There is a backlog of cases to be solved.. women were regarded as secondary-class citizens. Add to this the fact nakulang ng lawyers. “We have to get rid of these absurd. prosecutors and judges – we are undermanned. Challenges on the Case in Terms of Processes and Outcome. the deficiencies of the court were seen as manifestations of a cultural bias that Filipinos are susceptible to. women were regarded as secondary-class citizens. Our court dockets are clogged. It was stated by one of the respondents that machismo is evident in the Philippines. stereotypical myths… For example. the conclusion that rich people win because they are rich and poor people lose because they are poor. In the past. in the and the power of the wealthy to be immune from the Judicial system in the Philippine context.. makikita mo na ang bias sa kultura natin. kulang ng judges . With such prohibitive costs. in terms of process and outcome. stereotyped myths. doon pa lang.we are undermanned. etc.

Challenges faced by the Case. There are a lot of appeals.‟ Please.0. either stating that they were not in a position to answer or had no knowledge on the situation. Difficulties Faced by the Judge or Lawyers “Labeling.The six remaining respondents opted either not to answer the question. motions that could be reasons for delay. They complained that the slow system and perception of people regarding their work come up as challenges.Male Lawyer 2 16 out of the 20 respondents stated that lawyers face the difficulties that come with the nature of their jobs. We‟re just doing our jobs. kung baga. a lack of 70 . Expensive and slow resolutions present a challenged faced by the victim. give us a break. as if to say. There are a lot of things in the way. The delicate nature of the case. Maraming mga things in the way. CHALLENGES stereotyped myths lack of lawyers expensive and slow resolutions post-trial welfare of victims clogged court dockets Difficulties for Lawyers and Judges Labelling Delays Figure 3. the stature of the parties involved. a lack of lawyers and an expensive and slow resolution.” – Male Lawyer 4 “Delays. There are a lot of appeals. motions that could be reasons for delay)” . the stature of the parties involved. the whole notion na „lawyers are liars. (Delays. The delicate nature of the case. Lawyers and Judges The respondents pointed out 3 shortcomings that the court had in dealing with the Vertido case: the presence of stereotyped myths. Limitations. The remaining 4 respondents did not give their answer regarding the question.

compared to CEDAW. compared to CEDAW. subsequently causing more delays. the domestic or municipal law may be used as excuse for noncompliance of OP-CEDAW recommendations. Even if we have this very good universal law. That‟s what I use as a basis for these women‟s cases. for example. and often. I should be. It‟s part of my job as a lawyer. there has been a rigid emphasis on the use of local laws versus laws coming from international conventions. Since. causing clogged court docket and the compounding problems of the public labelling them for the nature of their work. One example is the Violence Against Women and Children Act. “Too many problems in the country to concentrate on. It‟s part of my job as a lawyer). Difficulties for OP-CEDAW too many problems in the country differing POVS presence of local laws downplays minorities 71 underutilization . for example. I should be.post-trial welfare. I‟m more familiar with VAWC. Yun ang ginagamit ko as basis for these women‟s cases.(These kinds of things should be given attention. Difficulties of OP-CEDAW. it rarely sees the light here in the Philippines. Thus.” – Male Lawyer 2 In the Philippines. Pero I‟m very open to using these kinds of laws. There are differing ideas and points of view.)” Female Lawyer 5 Aside from these. the minority is at the losing end. dapat bigyan ng pansin. the country already established its own laws regarding women. A lack of lawyers is a problem in itself. Mas familiar ako sa VAWC. 14 out of the 20 respondents stated that. I‟m very open to using these kinds of laws. (We have local laws like the VAWC. noting again the difficulty in implementing it in the country. kagaya ng VAWC. “Mayroon naman tayong mga local laws. But. judicial personnel fail to look overseas towards available international women‟s rights instruments. there are local laws that protect women. Itong mga ganito. the OPCEDAW is underutilized by the Philippine judiciary.

areas that needs to be improved in the judicial process. The legal professionals are essential for the entire process. making it difficult for the promulgation of their rights. and all those in the legal profession (LP) sa paggawa ng batas. Differing point of views cause downplaying the minorities. and gender mainstreaming in relation to the suggestions raised by the OP-CEDAW to the Philippines.Limitations: Difficulties faced by OP CEDAW The difficulties faced by OP CEDAW are a result of three things. There is a need to highlight the respondents‟ suggestions since it is deemed essential to the mainstreaming of gender in their own field and in the judiciary. Of course. leads to the underutilization of CEDAW. Recommendations revolve around the contributions of this sector‟s to the outcome of Vertido‟s case. such as the VAWC laws we have. ruling. Legal professionals are the lawyers. and gender mainstreaming in the judicial system. Legal Professionals. those 72 . and there are way too many problems in the country that hamper the implementation of CEDAW. and become safeguard of women‟s rights. and any other profession that deals with law interpretations and the like. “Malaki ang role ng judges. All of the respondents confirmed that the legal profession is really an essential factor in the gender mainstreaming process. lawyers. the presence of local laws that already enact what CEDAW embodies. pati na rin sa pagpapatupad. become “watchdog” for fair trial. judges. differing points of the members of the Judicial System.Figure 3. Recommendations of Lawyers/Judges The respondents were asked regarding their recommendations on some sectors‟ contribution judicial process.1. Most of them recommended that those in legal profession should be involved in the process of making our laws. The presence of local laws. The respondents have this shared idea on the importance of usage of and awareness about the OP-CEDAW in relation to the mainstreaming of gender in the judiciary.

Therefore. the case was interpreted. and even all that will be against or abrogation of it. I highly suggest that they include OP-CEDAW in their practice as a start to the importance of gender. Therefore. they should be vanguards of justice. So. It‟s time for them to be the arbiter of the validity of decisions. 7 73 . because it is very helpful. How the rule was arrive at would now be dependent on how it the law. we have good laws and statutes. they should take up the aspect of gender in cases such as Karen‟s. because they compose the judiciary. This is why an inclusion of a gender lens in the legal profession will definitely turn the tides. the task is up for the legal progessionals. They should raise the concern by questioning. maybe the ruling. Maganda ito lalo na kapag na-orient ang mga lawyers sa OP-CEDAW. kasi for me nakatulong siya” (The role they play is important. the task is up for the LPs. we must take into account on what will be the context. On the other hand. we have good laws and statutes. because it involves different parties from different gender. and all those in the legal profession in the lawmaking process. would be oriented on the OP-CEDAW. It‟s time for them to be the arbiter of the validity of decisions.in the legal profession are the most knowledgeable in the content of the law. we must take into account on what will be the context. Of course. in case merong mali sa ruling sa court. The inclusion for gender-sensitive framework on every practitioner might yield good and impartial outcome. This is why an inclusion of a gender lens in the legal profession will definitely turn the tides. The problem lies on the interpretation and more on the implementation. I highly suggest na they include OPCEDAW in their practice as a start to the importance of gender. On the other hand.– Female Lawyer No. and how it was arrived at that. kasi it involves different parties from different gender. Like here in the Philippines. The inclusion for gender-sensitive framework on every practitioner might yield good and impartial outcome. – Male Lawyer No. The problem lies on the interpretation and more on the implementation. as for me). since they comprise the judiciary. they should take up the aspect of gender in cases such as Karen‟s. they should take part in the process of making law and implementing it. maybe the ruling. lawyers. in case there‟s something wrong in the court‟s ruling. They should raise the concern by questioning. the case was interpreted). those in the legal profession are the most knowledgeable in the content of the law. Now. with all due respect. they should take part in the process of making law and implementing it. Like here in the Philippines. So. because they compose the judiciary. Basically. even in its implementation is really big. since they comprise the judiciary. and even all that will be against or abrogation of it. Now. Basically.”(The role of judges. they should be vanguards of justice. How the rule was arrived at would now be dependent on how the law. It would be good if the lawyers. 5 “The role they play is important. and how it was arrived at that.

Mathieu Deflem supported the big role upheld by the people in the legal profession through his study on Legal Profession (2007). age. Media. Deflem also recognized that the legal profession had been diversified at the latter half of the 20th century saying. The inclusion of gender perspective. The legal professional thus mediates between the polity as legislator and the public as clients of the law. as Deflem cited that this increasing diversity is not accompanied with equality as disparities have been observed to persist such as “gaps among male and female lawyers and differences in cultural and economic capital between solo practitioners and employees in large law firms”. and ethnicity”. “the legal professional is primarily someone who is learned in the law and who can provide specialized services on the basis of this expertise. This supports the idea of using the gender perspective. It can be very powerful in the sense that it can depict “women” in a positive and 74 . The influence of media on VAWC cases was also recognized by the respondents. educated in a multitude of legal programs. and the like might be essential for the legal profession to ponder upon. It is deemed that the role of legal professionals and the introduction of gender lens in its field are really important. 5 and Female Lawyer No. He confirms the role of those in the legal profession in advocating the importance of “preserving the safeguards of the rule of law”. but pointed out that laws. 10th Chief Justice of Australia. “that the abrogation is proportionate to the apprehended harm and has a substantial prospect of achieving the desired protection”. such those that are not already applicable in the present time can be question or even abrogated if it can protect the greater community. “legal professionals nowadays comprise a wide variety of practitioners. studies. and are more broadly representative of contemporary society with respect to gender. but not that widely. According to him. 7 confirmed the role of legal professionals and importance of gender studies in the legal system. Gerard Brennan (2007).Male Lawyer No. such as that of OP-CEDAW. have signified the role of legal professionals in the rule of law.

it was not only publicized. it would be a “good” bias to surface out the truth. though it‟s still on the infantile stage. Even in personal practice. kasi iyong lack of evidence makes it weak. Lawmakers and media had an important role to play in the whole process. may it be in print or in TV. this is not true for Karen‟s case. many were so angry about the outcome. I strongly believed that they should be investigators themselves. Second. mahirap patunayan yan sa batas. Many became aware of her case. and all of them also regard media as a factor for the negative image of women as “weak” and “subservient” to men. that‟s why it took them a long time. Now. not hearsays.). especially about the image of gender. if not for all. which somehow includes stereotyping. saying it is based on gender myths. However. both good and bad. while in fact it was decided upon the content of evidences.negative way. (If we will try to see it from Karen‟s case. many were so angry about the outcome. when the decision was arrived at. Marami ang naging aware sa kaso niya. when the decision was arrived at. What is needed now is that they should be careful on what will be presented in their audience. that if they may be bias. kaya kahit anong pilit pa ng many concerned and involved parties and intermediaries. 6 (ML6) “Media is so influential that in can guide the verdict and even the process itself of any trial. It‟s not too late. It‟s not too late. Third. because the public opinion is pressuring the decision of the judge. – Male Lawyer No. it awakened the movement or the insertion of gender in the judiciary. According to the respondents. I think that would account for the delay of the verdict. What is needed now is that they should be careful on what will be presented in their audience. not hearsays. I can say that media has a great contribution. Una. if not for all. it publicized the case to many people. Third. so the decisions should be justly discerned. kaya palipat-lipat ang kaso. but her case was also romanticized by the media. and maybe critic the system whether there are still efforts 75 . decision on judiciary is somehow “coated” with public opinion. masasabi ko na may nacontribute talaga ang media. it awakened the movement or the insertion of gender in the judiciary. because the public opinion is pressuring the decision of the judge. but her case was also romanticized by the media. Lalo na kapag sa image ng gender. Now. kasi nga base daw on gender myths ang decisions. or even the image of women in the society. while in fact it was decided upon the content of evidences. First. it publicized the case to many. both good and bad. may it be in print or in TV. the respondents acknowledged the influence of media‟s projection on women in their own profession: “Kung titingnan natin yung case ni Karen. So sad. Second. though it‟s still on the infantile stage” . so the decisions should be justly discerned. 17 out of 20 respondents identified media as a great influence in creating a gender-fair in the society. kasi nga na-challenge ulit ito dun sa case niya. as it was challenged again by her case. it was not only publicized. and that role should be impartial. I think that would account for the delay ng verdict.

I recommend that they initiate gender-sensitive ads so that awareness would be widespread. showing the two sides of the coin as much as possible”. This somehow reinforces a “culture” that leads to the human rights violations of women and children. It is really important that media should initiate in making the „invisible‟ visible to the society. Media also projects women “as capable of performing tough jobs or decisionmaking. However. or creates a patriarchal culture. and that role should be impartial. showing the two sides of the coin as much as possible”) – Female Lawyer No. that if they may be bias. this is not true for Karen‟s case. it would be a “good” bias to surface out the truth. and there will be no Karen Vertido in the making again. Lawmakers and media had an important role to play in the whole process. I recommend that they initiate gender-sensitive ads so that awareness would be widespread.regarding the mainstreaming of gender. and even “dumb”. Conducted in the New York Beijing Plus Five Conference last year 2000. This clearly shows the two ways on how these projections affect public opinion. The study of Global Media Monitoring Project 2000 affirmed ML6 and FL5‟s perception on the role of media in gender mainstreaming and women empowerment. 70 countries took part in the study called “Who Makes the News” that examined how men and women are reflected in the media on one 76 . due to the lack of evidence that makes it weak. I strongly believed that they should be investigators themselves. in spite of all efforts of many concerned and involved parties and intermediaries. merely “sex objects”. or when advertisements project men as capable of performing nurturing roles such as caring for the baby or doing household chores”. (Media is so influential that in can guide the verdict and even the process itself of any trial. radio and television soap operas depicted by the mass media where women were “martyrs”. The media can also be an area where women could be viewed in a positive way. It is really important that media should initiate in making the “invisible” visible to the society. They (media) have the capability after all in carrying and delivering a fair view on women. They (media) have the capability after all in carrying and delivering a fair view on women. gender stereotyping was also a product of advertisements. So sad. it‟s hard to prove it. and there will be no Karen Vertido in the making again. or even the image of women in the society. and maybe critic the system whether there are still efforts regarding the mainstreaming of gender. 5 According to Adoracion Avisado in her journal on Gender Law and Transformative Justice (2007).

(Media has really messed up and added value to the concept of gender in this country. and the piece ends with the subtitle “the right man (for the job)” – even though two of the seven presidential candidates were actually women (Morna. The image of “Maria Clara” was also brought up by the respondents. internet. 2000). para naman hindi lang manatiling “Maria Clara” ang tingin natin sa mga babae. The concept of “Maria Clara” as someone weak and subservient to men has long been here. especially by Female Lawyer No. 3 77 . and Seydegart. and Seydegart. In the rule of law. and everywhere else.2002). What is needed for them is to be prime movers too on the awareness about gender equality. and with no state occupation (25%) compared to men (Spears. internet. K. the media is one of the most influential today given the wide array of audience they have in TV. dapat pantay-pantay lahat”. 2000). Over a 100 percentage. However. so that our idea of a “Maria Clara” image of women will be eradicated.. What is needed for them is to be prime movers too sa awareness about gender equality. athletes (9%). K. according to the case study of Colleen Morna on “Promoting Gender Equality In And Through The Media” (2002) in South Africa. Sa mata ng batas. This supports the idea of FL5 that media has a great role in making the women invisible or visible in the society. Colleen cited that women were never recognized on the 2001 national elections in Zambia as newspapers released carried an article entitled “Peoples Wide Expectations of a New President”. The study reflected on how women were portrayed in their roles in the society. and everywhere else. It‟s hard to point on them alone. The percentage shows how women were looked at globally. the media is one of the most influential today given the wide array of audience they have in TV. G. 3. Media turned so powerful that they can make women “invisible”. politicians (10%). missed out as man was recognized. women were perceived as home makers (81%). However. G. The concept of “Maria Clara” as someone weak and subservient to men has long been here. saying: “Media has really messed up and added value to the concept of gender in this country. This shows no portrayal of women.chosen day (Spears. which is also an accepted reality in the Philippines – still perceived as weaker and less-represented than men. It‟s hard to point on them alone. everyone should be treated equally”) – Female Lawyer No. where “every source and image is of a man.

sometimes the government misses out. that would be difficult.The perception of Female Lawyer 3 connotes an idea that women are viewed as “Maria Clara” in the Philippine society. medyo mahirap. The fight of Vertido was supported by lots of NGOs kaya nagiging solid ang kanyang ground in fighting for her right. this puts women in a gender role inequality with men. NGOs come into the picture to support those who really needed it. particularly Judiciary. This confirms the idea of Female Lawyer 3 about the presence of “Maria Clara” image in the Philippine society. then the problem about mainstreaming will slowly be eradicated. “ Kung manggagaling lang sa government ang effort. a Filipino psychologist who wrote Filipino-American Psychology (2011). sometimes hindi na nakikita ng government. According to Kevin Nadal. and 78 . Kasi being in the position. 16 out of 20 respondents see the role of NGOs as “watchdogs” will really be important in the entire gender mainstreaming process. or the belief in the superiority of males over females (2011). So many NGOs that exist today protecting the rights of women. So. Being in the position. “Maria Clara” culture or “marianismo” is defined by Nadal as female submissiveness to “machismo”. The fight of Vertido was supported by lots of NGOs. the image of women as “Maria Clara” emerged at the arrival of Spaniards in the Philippines. According to Nadal. If women would be supported in any forms by this NGOs. So the existence of NGOs as independent mediators sa creation of gender oriented policies is really a necessity. (If the effort will be from the government alone. So the existence of NGOs as independent mediators in the creation of gender oriented policies is really a necessity. particularly Judiciary. iyong mga mali sa policies nila. the flawed portions of policies. If women would be supported in any forms by this NGOs. So many NGOs that exist today protecting the rights of women. What they can continually do right now is to be catalysts for policies concerning about how the government can materialize GAD projects in a way that it will have an impact. What they can do is really to push for a more comprehensive support for gender empowerment. What they can do is really to push for a more comprehensive support for gender empowerment. Non-governmental Organizations. They are in the position to somehow evaluate the existing policies of the government about gender mainstreaming if it is effective or not”. then the problem about mainstreaming will slowly be eradicated. if it turns out that kalaban mo mismo ang system. The role of NGOs in the process of gender mainstreaming was also emphasized by the respondents.

NGOs here are defined as “self-governing. What they can continually do right now is to be catalysts for policies concerning about how the government can materialize GAD projects in a way that it will have an impact. R. (2003) on the importance of NGO. NGOs come into the picture to support those who really needed it.) –Male Lawyer 7 It affirms to the study of Rekha Mehra. notfor-profit organizations that are geared toward improving the quality of life of disadvantaged people. On the operational side. The role therefore of NGOs is to mediate and critic the government in its laws and policies. so as implementation of it. It took steps to implement mainstreaming policies. they required gender analysis at various stages of development assistance and some started working with other organizations such as civil society or country governments and other donors (Hannan 2004. & Geeta Rao Gupta. Judicial System.this made her strong in fighting for her right. They are in the position to somehow evaluate the existing policies of the government about gender mainstreaming if it is effective or not”. As such. UNESCAP 2003). NWFA 2002. private. Apart from the sectors involved. Some organizations also made budget allocations. which is a space arena between households and the state which affords possibilities of concerted action and social self-organization”. The respondents were asked about their recommendations on what areas are needed to be improved further. still perceives that the “pursuance to the effective implementation of such is 79 . hired gender specialists and adopted gender training. they are elements of civil society. The role of NGOs as perceived by Male Lawyer 6 is best defined in Cenap Cakmak‟s journal on “The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Norm Creation Process in the Field of Human Rights” (2004). if it turns out that the system seems to be against you. Most of the respondents suggested that the Judiciary. They are neither part of government nor controlled by a public body. and set up gender units. So. the role of the Judiciary is deemed the most important. though it already initiated several programs that seek to make the “pillars” of justice system gender sensitive.

I think what is needed now is for them to incorporate it to the structure. the system will be induced with gender frame 80 . The laws are already there. made some effort sa importance ng gender sensitivity as a perspective sa mga cases and decisions na ma-encounter nila. This way. concrete incorporation and implementation is the needed effort. where they‟ll introduce the the lens of gender for all legal practitioners. even court personnel. I believe na makakatulong talaga yun sa cases na ire-review ng Supreme Court. In order to pursue a biasfree system in decision making. where iintroduce nila yung lens ng „gender‟ for all legal practitioners. it plays a vital role on how the judges pati nga court personnel ay nabibigyan ng short course. were given short courses that involves the „what abouts‟ of the judiciary.”(I don‟t know if you‟re familiar with PHILJA. pero ito yung isa sa mga arm ng Judiciary na naka-focus sa pagtrain ng mga judges. and then maybe there would be a great change and impact. This confirms the responses of Male Lawyers 3 and 7 with regards to preliminary actions for gender sensitivity in the Judiciary. what I can advise is that through this programs they already initiated. and might be delegated all the way down to the local courts. (The Judiciary. it plays a vital role on how the judges. kasi doon naman talaga lage may cases na gaya ng VAWC by nature. “The judiciary. it involves maraming topics and whatabouts of judiciary I believe naglagay na sila ng isang committee for gender studies. This way. Pero. I believed they have put up a committee for gender studies. the system will be induced with gender frame through legal practitioners who have undergone gender studies and training.14 out of 20 respondents assessed the judicial system as lacking in gender mainstreaming initiatives. As far as I know. where most cases who are VAWC in nature were mostly common. then maybe may malaking changes and impact na mangyayari. and a little more push for enforcement is needed. after what transpired na rin sa case ni Karen. and maybe made-delegate na rin sa lower courts. had made some effort regarding the necessity of gender sensitivity in cases and decisions they encounter. As far as I know. what I can recommend is that through this programs they already initiated. . concrete incorporation and implementation na siguro ang kailangan. The committee created by Supreme Court. hindi pa rin sapat iyon. that‟s not enough. yung Gender Responsiveness.deemed necessary”. Para siguro talaga ma-pursue natin yung bias-free in terms of decision making sa Judiciary. I believed and after what transpired to the case of Vertido. I think they should just incorporate it na lang sa structure. ) – Male Lawyer 9 “Hindi ko alam kung familiar kayo sa PHILJA. siguro. whose name is Gender Responsiveness. but this is one arm of Judiciary that focuses on training judges. kulang na lang ng tulak para ipatubad ba”. Nandyan na iyong mga kailangan. Iyong committee nga na ginawa ng Supreme Court. would be helpful for the cases that will be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Still.

Christine Chinkin. By the virtue of Administrative Order No. and added a Sub-Committee on Social Context and Gender. PHILJA was created by the Supreme Court to act as "training school for justices. judges. A. court personnel. structure and culture. lawyers and aspirants to judicial posts”. 15 out of 20 respondents states that both the structure and culture is wrong. There are so many good laws that we have. She identified that it should include: understanding of the CEDAW Convention. the Beijing Platform for Action. Several departments of the Philippine government have initiated GAD-related projects for the past year including the Supreme Court and other law enforcing agencies. “I would tell the problem would be on how the law is applied. and what is problematic in the legal system. and the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Gender & Development as the fundamental part of training so that the gender lens will emanate from the internal structure. The responses cited the need for training for the judicial personnels and policies that can improve the judicial system. in her book Gender Mainstreaming in Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2001). – Male Lawyer 3 According to Adoracion Avisado (2007). 35-96 of the Supreme Court and mandated by R. Substance. “the country has been recently exposed in the mainstreaming of gender and development (GAD)”. 8557. but the way it would be applied is really difficult due to many factors 81 . Supreme Court created the Committee on Gender Responsiveness as an answer to the GAD initiatives and policies of the Philippine government. Benchmarking from the case of Karen Vertido. the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) has been established. and mostly on how it would be regarded by most. mentioned the important aspects that should be incorporated in training the personnel in judiciary.through legal practitioners who have undergone gender studies and training). while 17 out of 20 emphasized that the culture have dragged the other two problematically. the respondents were asked what could have gone wrong in the process.

It accounted previous rulings that are similar to Vertido‟s but it fails to account the context it was taken. women are still viewed as less than man? The culture within judiciary is the one that delegates the discrimination for women”. (I would tell the problem would be on how the law is applied. We have 1988 Family Code of the Philippines.na rin. and mostly on how it would be regarded by most. it‟s good because it is comprehensive in a sense that it was patterned from international instruments to which our country is a signatory. interpret the case of Vertido based on so many cases they had previously. people must be educated about it. the judiciary is somehow marred by what they call “macho” culture. and the culture to which it was movingThis might really be the shortcoming) . laws. 9 “With the Women‟s Code of Davao City.” – Male Lawyer 5 “Gender mainstreaming in the judiciary has long began. for instance. These are good laws. and the culture to which it was moving. Laws? We have a lot. – Male Lawyer No. Going back to the Women‟s Code. If those in the judiciary inculcate the „macho‟ culture. the legal system is made up of substance. r emphasizes gender and development. Iyan siguro iyong pagkukulang talaga”. but how can you implement this if in the system. If it‟s about the structure. 1 In line with the study of Adoracion Avisado on Transformative Justice (2007). and of course 9262. structure. If the problem lies on what the law says. The substance refers to what the law says or the constitutions. then they are the one who needs to be educated. It accounted previous rulings that are similar to Vertido‟s but it fails to account the context it was taken. There are so many good laws that we have. and even Republic Act 7877. It would be a battle-neck on how the Supreme Court. Unless people will follow the rules religiously. the structure has several inadequacies especially in implementation. the issue on the resiliency of the „macho‟ culture is pressing all of these. In this case. if not eradicated. Maybe. and this is something that needs intervention. However. It‟s not too late. Structure refers to the courts. then it should be repealed. but the way it would be applied is really difficult due to many factors na rin. and the culture. which is actually the case. statutes. etc. Admittedly. but the culture of „machismo‟ is still alive and kicking in the judiciary. That culture should be the one who needs to abolished.Male Lawyer No. What needed are laws or ordinances such as this (referring to Women‟s Code). but I don‟t think it is really the issue. It would be a battle-neck on how the Supreme Court. for instance. 82 . law enforcers.” – Judge No. it should be looked upon by all who is part of it. I believe that gender mainstreaming is on its way there. Republic Act 7192. 2 “The problem should be address accordingly. then everything will be easier. interpret the case of Vertido based on so many cases they had previously.

the problem now arises on what component of the judiciary that needs to be addressed or improved. that determines “how” the law is applied. etc.. Chapter 5 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS This chapter presents the highlights of the overall findings of the study and our recommendations. and on educating the people. about gender mainstreaming. including the judiciary.administrative agencies. the culture is anchored on the idea on “how people regard the law”. Emphasizing more on the how the law is regarded. It calls then to the restructuring of implementation and empowering it to be more effective. The problem then is on the structure of law enforcement and on the culture of the judiciary. 83 . the presence of “machismo” culture in the judiciary is seen as the main aspect that needs to be improved. This may refer to share attitudes and behaviours toward the law (Avisado. Lastly. With the following responses. 2007).

For the judge respondents. II. They were categorized into civil lawyers. teacher lawyers. Parties involved. the respondents discussed some matters about Karen Vertido‟s life. she lost her job. human rights advocates and public defender. Eight (8) out of 11 male respondents Only 3 out of 9 female mostly men emphasized Custodio‟s claim in the trial about him having a relationship with Karen. Moreover. Six (6) respondents mentioned that Karen Vertido was assisted by Filipino lawyer Evalyn Ursua while 5 out of 20 respondents mentioned the well-known Women‟s Legal Bureau of the Philipines. RTC branch judges and MTCC branch judge. Ten (10) out of 20 respondents said that the case was well-known because of the parties involved. These respondents are unconvinced that there was rape. had to endure a commuter‟s marriage and suffered from media. 15 out of 20 respondents believed that Custodio 84 . KNOWLEDGE Karen Vertido Case. Eleven (11) were male while 9 were female. 11 to be exact. All respondents know that the Karen Vertido is a case involving rape.Summary of Findings The respondents were composed of lawyers and judges. All the respondents said that Jose Custodio is really influential in the business industry noting that he is the former president of Davao Chamber of Commerce (DCC) while Karen Vertido was the executive director. Moreover. Fourteen (14) out of 20 respondents know that Karen Vertido is the first woman from Asia to submit a complaint under the communication procedure of the Optional Protocol however no one mentioned that the Vertido Case was the first case brought from the Asia-Pacific region under the Optional Protocol and the first ever on rape decided under the Optional Protocol. corporate lawyers. Eight (8) out of 20 said that the case remained at the trial court level from 1997 to 2005. Five (5) out of 20 respondents recalled the incident before the filing of the case happened. A number of respondents.

Complaint mechanism availed by Karen Vertido. r e s p o n d e n t s ‟ a n s w e r s c o m p r i s e o f j u d g e s . Three (3) judges and 12 out of 17 lawyers did mention about the facts and evidences presented by both parties. The respondents 85 . Optional Protocol of CEDAW. Ten (10) respondents included in their explanation that only state parties to the CEDAW Convention can become state parties to the OP-CEDAW and twelve (12) out of 20 respondents emphasized that a state is not obliged to ratify OP-CEDAW. given the fact that she is known for being a “no-nonsense judge. law enforcement officers in understanding crimes of rape and other sexual offences in a gendersensitive manner. Seventeen (17) out of 20 stated that they know OP-CEDAW as a human rights treaty that complements CEDAW. and the need for speedy trial. 13 of the 20 respondents agree that the court‟s decision was grounded on solid fact and the law. The respondents mentioned that the process was really tiring and demanding.” The remaining 7 respondents believe that the decision was based on personal biases and gender myths. All respondents were able to enumerate some of the seven myths Vertido peddled in the Davao Regional Trial when it acquitted Custodio. One posited that Judge Europa‟s decision was sound. All were familiar with the complaint being filed by Vertido but when it comes to details they possess a lesser degree of knowledge. II. training for judges. the accused. Most of the respondents have basic knowledge about the OP-CEDAW. lawyers. Perceptions The Court’s Decision. Custodio was acquitted because there were no enough evidences that the crime happened. According to these respondents. elimination of gender biased concepts. updating the definition of rape.and Vertido had a relationship. translation of the views and recommendations. R e g a r d i n g t h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s . Recommendations of the OP-CEDAW.

All respondents bore strong positive sentiments towards the OPCEDAW. 16 out of 20 respondents believe that it will be difficult to implement the recommendations without delay. Time. Role of OP-CEDAW. The Public’s Reaction. 15 out of the 20 respondents believe that though the case was long drawn-out. siding with Custodio instead of Karen. Those who opposed the ruling were mostly members of NGOs. 13 respondents agree that the NGOs were beneficial to Vertido „s cause. 8 of the respondents agreed that as a whole the recommendations will be beneficial. Role of Lawyers and Judges.believe that Custodio‟s old age and his tight-knit relationship with Vertido are not hindrances for him to commit the act of rape. 16 of the respondents felt that public opinion was positive towards the court‟s decision. The remaining 4 respondents state that there were members of the public who did not agree with the ruling. and have done so for the whole duration of the case. seeing it as vital to the elimination of gender discrimination in the world. Recommendations Made by the Committee of the OP-CEDAW. this could not be helped due to the pervasive culture of delay in that exists in the country. The remaining 5 respondents felt that the case was solved in the adequate amount of time. 86 . The remaining seven of the respondents did not comment on the role of NGOs. The respondents posited that “Filipino time” manifests in the judicial system. All respondents believe that the lawyers and judges should act accordingly to their code of legal ethics. however they are also flawed Implementation of the OP-CEDAW Recommendations without delay. Role of NGOs. given the circumstances and sensitive nature of the case and the fact that Custodio filed several motions.

2 respondents expressed uncertainty. the budget for such training was questioned by one respondent. 15 respondents see the OP-CEDAW as beneficial to the country. Only 4 respondents believe that the recommendations can be implemented swiftly. was seen by 10 respondents as open to manipulation and abuse and detrimental to the credibility of the defendant‟s case. lawyers. appropriate training for judges. The third recommendation. however without an implementing body its implementation will be delayed. was perceived positively by 18 out of 20 respondents. law enforcement officers and medical personnel in understanding crimes of rape and other sexual offence in a gender-sensitive manner. 7 respondents felt that the recommendations were fair and sound. III. The first recommendation. 14 of the respondents explained that though the Philippines will abide by the OP-CEDAW. Current Compliance of the Philippines on OP-CEDAW Recommendations. The remaining 5 respondents view its implementation process as too slow to make it necessary. Three respondents expressed uncertainty with the recommendation‟s reliability. the removal of the requirement that sexual assault be committed by force or violence. Usefulness of the OP-CEDAW. Compliance of the Philippines with the OP-CEDAW Recommendations. was unanimously perceived positively by all respondents. However. PHILJA was cited as forerunning leader in the training of judicial personnel. appropriate and regular training on CEDAW. Limitations 87 .given the fact that there is no implementing body and the justice system in the country is a slow one. The lawyers and judges see it as valuable to their duty towards equality between men and women. 4 respondents believe that the Philippines will not abide by the OP-CEDAW. The second recommendation.

They explained that the course of the proceedings followed proper protocol and was legitimate because everything that transpired was supported by evidences.Half of the respondents. the lack of a speedy trial was evident. believed that the court had no shortcomings in dealing with the case. judges. 20 out of 20 respondents confirmed that the legal profession is the most essential component in the gender mainstreaming process. The reasons behind this range from gender-myths to the immunity of the wealthy from being persecuted and the court being undermanned. and the nature of the case itself to be the challenges they face. 8 female lawyers. especially in the judiciary. They elaborated that there were shortcomings. in terms of process and outcome. They are perceived as the most knowledgeable in 88 . the nature of having a delayed and slow judicial system. The remaining 6 respondents opted not to answer or had no knowledge regarding the question. that there was and evident machismo culture in the Philippines. prosecutors and the like. IV. 1 male lawyer and 1 female. 16 out of the 20 respondents agreed that. 14 out of the 20 respondents agreed that. that the case was decided upon because of gender-myths and reliance to previous rulings. with regards to the difficulties they face with their jobs. in terms of the length of time it took for the case to be ruled. believed otherwise. The remaining 4 respondents did not answer. lacking lawyers. on the other hand. the public labeling them because of the nature of their jobs. Incorporating OP-CEDAW and other related gender studies in their practice is a great start for the entire process of gender mainstreaming. Recommendations of the Judges/Lawyers Legal Profession. that there was a lapse in the educational system because lawyers were not educated about gender mainstreaming. The other half. 8 male lawyers and 2 judges.

there is no clear delegation of this initiative and still on its infantile years. they stand to evaluate the existing policies of the government if it employs a gender perspective. 16 out of 20 respondents identified NGOs as “watchdogs” in the gender mainstreaming of the judiciary. though not that widespread yet. However. Also. 15 out of 20 respondents stated that both the structure and 89 . Supreme Court of the Philippines. has initiated along with Philippine Judicial Academy gender studies to educate the legal personnel. all of them perceived too that media is a primary source of negative “culture” on gender equality. Judicial System.the legal practice. the lack of proper implementation of the laws contributed to the weak gender initiatives and regard. and every news they present. Media. Components of the Legal System. advertisements. They recognized that media has the capacity to influence the greater portion of the population through propagandas. Though the highest court. 17 out of 20 respondents regarded media as having the influence to spread a positive image of women in the status quo which is somehow patriarchal. As agents of the civil society. Identifying the substance. and culture as components of the legal system. as it portrays women in negative way. they can create a “culture” where women are regarded as equal to men. Non-governmental organizations. 14 out of 20 respondents assessed the judicial system of the Philippines as lacking in gender mainstreaming initiatives. structure. and thus mediate between the government as executors of law and the people as “clients of law”. It is also recognized by the respondents that the legal profession has long been engaged in the practice of gender mainstreaming as more men and women uses gender lens in their practice. Somehow. One of the most effective way that NGOs can check the efficiency of government in the gender mainstreaming process is in the Gender and Development projects of the government.

With this. and women should not be portrayed as subservient. the challenge now is on the gender intrusion in the judiciary. weak. 90 .  The media should be able to present women in a positive way and properly utilize its power to influence the public opinion  The researchers recommend wider information dissemination on the OP-CEDAW to inform rape victims. it is deemed important that international treaties like OPCEDAW should be incorporated and given importance in the curricula of law schools in the Philippines  The judiciary. lawyers and judges of the legal measures available at their disposal  The need for additional training and education for the judicial personnel and policies that can improve the judicial system.  The issue of gender mainstreaming and it‟s relation to the seven myths peddled by Karen Vertido should be another important topic for future studies. in the level of regional trial courts and municipal courts. while 17 out of 20 emphasized that the culture have dragged the other two problematically. Recommendations The following are the recommendations of the respondents based on the study:  Due to the results of the study. the culture of judiciary is the main problem in the weak regard for gender mainstreaming in the judiciary.culture is wrong. should initiate an effective training and seminar workshops that would introduce gender studies to legal professionals who are either part or not of the legal system. That advertisements that connotes women as subservient should be prohibited. and stereotyped in any way in all forms of media.  That media should present women in a more appropriate way. Naming the deep-rooted culture of machismo in the judiciary.

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