Duterte to arrest parents who allow kids on streets after 10 p.m.
DAVAO CITY – Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to order the police to arrest the parents of children found wandering on the streets beyond 10 p.m..
Duterte said he would implement the 10 p.m. curfew on unescorted minors nationwide.
Duterte said he would have the children’s parents arrested for abandonment.
“My order is not to arrest the child,” he told reporters Sunday night, adding that after placing the child into the custody of concerned agencies, the police would then arrest the parents.
Last year, two mothers in Davao City were arrested for violating Republic Act 7610, or an act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse. The Davao City chapter of the feminist group Gabriela, which has worked with Duterte to protect women’s welfare in the past, however, criticized the arrest of the mothers, saying they had to work odd jobs all day to bring food to the table. One of the children ran away from home.
The two women were mothers of children that the mayor found sleeping on the street. One of the mothers, however, said she left her children at home as she had to work as a house helper. The other mother said she and her husband tried but failed to look for their child who ran away from home.
“It’s true there are many women who do not have enough capacity to provide for humane and decent life for their children but it’s not the fault of mothers why they are poor,” said Mary Ann Sapar, secretary-general of Gabriela Davao.
“Most women are not given enough chance to get a decent job with enough pay that would provide for their family, most women don’t even have access to government social services. It’s unfair for mothers who have been desperately trying hard to provide for their children to get all the blame, be immediately dismissed as bad mothers, just because they are poor,” she said. SFM/rga
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