This is in response to the statement issued on Friday, March 17, by the Gabriela Partylist, which was circulated in social media accusing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity of intimidating Ms. Elizabeth Maynigo, Gabriela Partylist – Marikina president.

To set the record straight, the OPAPRU vehemently denies that it was involved in the alleged harassment of Ms. Maynigo. This is a baseless, irresponsible and unfounded accusation.

The story being peddled by Gabriela, that Ms. Maynigo was “asked to board a vehicle and interrogated by men who identified themselves as OPAPP (former name of OPAPRU),” is simply illogical. Moreso, mere allegations not supported by appropriate evidence is considered hearsay and only a ploy to mislead the public.

There is a process on how to properly validate and verify complaints. To ferret out the truth, the agency immediately conducted internal checking when the allegation broke out in social media.

OPAPRU did not receive any communication from Gabriela to raise and seek our response to the concern; rather they went all out to besmirch the agency’s reputation.

The accusation is contrary to the core values of the agency, which is to promote conflict sensitivity and peace promotion.

Gabriela may have forgotten that the OPAPRU is the agency tasked to implement the country’s comprehensive peace process. Being such, the men and women of the agency cannot and will never be engaged in such acts of intimidation, harassment or coercion as purported by Gabriela.

OPAPRU remains committed to creating an environment where peace dialogues and understanding can flourish.

Moreover, OPAPRU is the current chair of the steering committee of the National Action Plan Women, Peace and Security (NAP-WPS), which aims to protect and ensure the rights and welfare of Filipina women.

Our agency has not wavered on this commitment. Our agency’s track record can speak for itself, especially for what it has done for our country’s women sector.

We therefore call on Gabriela to get its facts straight and be responsible for the information it shares to the public.

OPAPRU is very much willing to help not just Gabriela but also any other citizen of the Republic.

We urged organizations like Gabriela to follow procedures that have long existed when making complaints against our personnel or any official of the government.

This goes a long way in preventing issues from taking on the character of gutter material, devoid of any grain of truth.

One cannot truly win the hearts and minds of our people by propagating misinformation. ###