Atienza wants child abuse raps vs cops in Caloocan raid
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should file child abuse charges against the 13 members of the Caloocan City police who brought along a minor when they illegally raided and robbed a house, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza urged on Sunday.
“The DSWD and the DOJ are the lead agencies tasked to enforce the 1992 law protecting children. They should be the ones to file the criminal charges against the officers involved,” Atienza said in a statement.
Atienza also called on the DSWD to take protective custody of the child, who was caught stealing valuables during the unlawful police search.
“We cannot have our very own officers of the law exploiting children, just like Akyat Bahay gangs using kids to break into homes, or drug pushers taking advantage of minors as movers,” the senior deputy minority leader said.
Atienza cited Republic Act 7610, which penalizes the use of children under 18 years of age as police guides, couriers or spies, or their use in illegal activities such as robbery, as well as their exposure to any form of danger, including threats that they might get harmed during possible hostilities.
“What the officers did in this case constitutes gross inexcusable ignorance of the law and barefaced negligence,” Atienza said, adding that under the law, they should face dismissal from service, prison terms, and perpetual disqualification from public office.
On September 7, Caloocan City cops barged into the home of a 51-year-old woman in Barrio Sta. Rita, Barangay 188, Tala without a search warrant. They are already facing robbery charges.
Atienza said the cops stole cash and watches worth P30,000 from the house. They also did not file a spot report after their search, which did not yield any drugs, the lawmaker added.
“The erring officers likewise committed violations when they allowed a civilian informer to carry a firearm and participate in the search, and when they wore clothes that made it difficult to ascertain whether they were hooligans or agents of the law, according to the National Police Commission,” Atienza said.
The 13 cops were also part of the 1,200 Caloocan City personnel sacked by National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde on Friday on account of the break-in and robbery that was caught on security video. Some Caloocan City policemen were also accused of being complicit in the summary killings of two teenagers, Kian Delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz.
The cops will undergo a 45-day retraining and reorientation program, Albayalde said. /je
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