This Petition is to Stop the Continuous Sexual Harassment Being Done By Mr. Ricky Partington to Residents and Staff of Tivoli Garden Residences

PART 1: The Incident

Good day. Let me start by saying that the swimming pool has always been one of the biggest reasons why I chose to live in Tivoli Garden Residences. For the past few months, I have unfortunately had to avoid swimming there because I felt harassed by a resident who frequents the pool, Mr. Ricky Partington. Any words he says directed at me stressed me out. It would normally be “My Rica,” “Why are you so beautiful” or he would shout, loudly “Ate!” from afar until he would get my attention.  In the past year, this has happened at times once a week. 

A knee injury has entailed me to need some rehabilitation and swimming is one of the rehab methods. I signed up for the pool again yesterday. Unfortunately, Mr. Partington was there on the same schedule. I did not want to change schedules or pools because I also need a dose of Vitamin D from direct sunlight. I asked him if he had registered online and he said his phone was broken, so he only registered at the lobby.  

As he got into the pool he started moaning loudly (I assume from pleasure of being in the water) and unnecessarily, while calling my name repeatedly “Rica, Rica.” I felt gross and violated. I told him “Can you please leave me alone?” Lifeguards suggested I use the other pool instead, even if I had legally registered in the one near the clubhouse, for the purpose of getting some morning sun and it being less cold than the one near Iris.  

At first, I did, but it was too cold, and I could not swim in there. I had to go back to the pool near the Clubhouse. Once I did, he went near me, and wolf whistled. The Lifeguard, who is remarkably familiar with Mr. Partington’s antics and behaviour, sprang into action and went to the security office. I started telling Mr. Partington off because I have had enough of his verbal sexual harassments all these years. I have had enough of his bullying the lifeguards, of harassing female café attendants, female store cashiers and female security guards.  

About four security guards arrived and asked him to get out of the pool, transfer to another pool. He refused. I was getting angrier and told him to leave the pool, I was the one who was registered legally there. He then says this misogynistic phrase we women hate to hear: “Are you on your period?” because I was angry. He also goes on to say “You need to see a doctor” because I was angry. All time misogynistic lines because women “are not allowed” to get angry or fight back when they are being harassed, because women are easily labelled as having something wrong with them when they do.  

After several minutes of coercing, and him taunting me and me angrily exchanging words with him, he moved to the other pool.

PART 2: The Situation

After relaying the incident in a residential group chat, more than thirty women and even men have come forward to say that they:

1.       Do not use the pool because they must avoid Mr. Partington

2.       Those that go in the pool are not comfortable when Mr. Partington is around and they feel unsafe

3.       Go out of their way to avoid Mr. Partington in Bauhinia because he does not wear a mask

4.       Have been verbally harassed by Mr. Partington in many of the public places we have here

5.       Have felt uncomfortable with his leering

Some of the women are staff but cannot publicly come forward for fear of losing their job.

The verbal harassment towards the female residents and staff has been going on for YEARS now.

I am also aware of the incident where he verbally and physically abused the lifeguards.

I am also aware that he has had repeated violations and issued several tickets and has been reported to the Barangay several times as well.

I am also aware that he has caused ruckus with his immediate neighbours and building neighbours and does not listen to the security guards when they tell him off.

I can go into further detail on this if needed, and I can also ask other residents to come forward with their specific incidents. 

These are the questions I would like to raise:

1.       Why is he still allowed in the swimming pool after threatening and harming the lifeguards?  

2.       Why is he still allowed as a tenant after facing a multitude of complaints, to the PMO and Barangay?    

3.       What action can be taken to ensure the safety of your women residents and staff? Having women feel unsafe and harassed in their own residence and workplace is a serious matter that cannot be taken lightly.  

4.       What can be done to change the culture of your staff being scared to lose their job if they come forward to report that they are being harassed? The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act or RA No. 7877 prohibits any form or kind of sexual harassment in the workplace. This also includes any unwelcome sexual advancse, request or demand for a sexual favour, or other verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature that is committed in a work-related environment.

5.       What action will you take after repeated violations of Mr. Partington of sexual harassment? Under the Safe Spaces or Republic Act No 11313, Mr. Partington has repeatedly violated this, attested by several female residents and staff, particularly the following offenses:   

·         Catcalling
·         Cursing
·         Wolf-whistling
·         Leering and intrusive gazing
·         Taunting, unwanted invitations
·         Misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist slurs
·         Persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance
·         Any statement that has made an invasion on a person’s personal space or threatens the person’s sense of personal safety

May I stress that Mr. Partington, throughout the years, has REPEATEDLY and ROUTINELY practiced the offenses stated above.  The Property Management Office is required to act on the Safe Spaces or Republic Act No 1131; proper action needs to be taken. 

While I appreciate the swift action of the Lifeguards and Security staff yesterday, and them issuing a ticket, they cannot be around him 24/7 to make the female residents and staff always feel safe.

After repeated violations and an obvious threat to the safety of the community, what further, more grave actions can be taken against Mr. Partington? If this kind of behaviour continues, I will personally have no choice but to file legal charges against him. But my main goal is to make this community, especially the women, feel safe, and not feel uncomfortable in their own community. I believe the PMO has the same best interests as I do for the community.  

Other residents are signing this petition with me because they too want Tivoli Garden Residences to be a safe space, a space of no harassment, a space where women should feel comfortable to move around, because this is their home / workplace.   Thank you for your time and I appreciate prompt and swift action on this matter.        

Rica Marie Velasco    Contact the author of the petition

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