ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 3 (PIA) – A jail officer in this city was recently convicted for mocking a person with disability (PWD), as was learned during a recent meeting of the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA) here.
According to Glorieto Nebrija, administrative officer of the Department of Justice (DOJ) here, the said jail officer was found guilty by the court for vilifying a PWD pedicab driver.
“The convicted person made fun of the victim, maliciously calling him names in reference to the driver’s facial deformity,” Nebrija explained. The specific words were “Bungi! Bungi!”
The victim reported the incident to the local PWD association, who referred the incident to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The CHR then filed the necessary case against the suspect in the court. It prospered in less than a year, which is considerably shorter than the time of resolution of most cases.
The convict was met with a Php50,000.00 fine for this first violation.
Two more similar PWD vilification cases are still pending in court in Zamboanga.
Republic Act 9442, the act amending Republic Act 7277 or the Magna Carta for PWDs protects PWDs from vilification and public ridicule. The law identifies these acts as “contemptuous imitating or making mockery of persons with disability whether in writing, or in words, or in action due to their impairment/s”, “utterance of slanderous and abusive statements” and “vilifying any person with disability which could result into loss of self-esteem of the latter”.
When found guilty for the first offense, the offender will be fined with Php50,000.00-100,000.00 or imprisonment, or both at the court’s discretion.
Meanwhile, the PWD council, composed of representatives from government agencies and PWD organizations in the city called on PWDs to secure their identification cards from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), and more importantly, to know their rights and privileges. Complaints on vilification and other non-compliance to the law including special PWD discounts and priority lanes can be lodged with the CSWDO. (EDT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)
Source: PIA Feed