De Lima frowns on ‘inappropriate publicity’ of minors in drug crimes
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of parading them before the media, apprehended minors allegedly involved in illegal drug trade should be sent to reform centers for children in conflict with the law (CICLs), opposition Senator Leila de Lima said Friday.
De Lima issued this remark after 12 minors in Navotas City with ages four to 15 years old were arrested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and presented to the media for photo-ops last Wednesday.
“No individual, much less minors, should be subjected to degrading treatment by the authorities. Children in conflict with the law must still be treated in a way that is consistent with the promotion of their sense of dignity and worth,” the senator said in a statement.
“Sending these minors in ‘Bahay Pag-Asa’ would allow them to rebuild their lives and teach them the value of following the law, so when they return in the community, they can be useful and law-abiding members of the society,” she added.
De Lima pointed out the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 requires the need for a comprehensive restorative juvenile justice and welfare system in the country, including intervention program and support youth centers such as “Bahay Pag-Asa.”
Bahay Pag-Asa is child-caring reform center established, funded, and managed by local government units and licensed and/or accredited non-government organizations to provide short-term residential care for CICLs.
The senator also stressed roles of parents and mass media play in ensuring children stay out of crimes and not exposed to “inappropriate publicity.”
“Responsible parents are expected to watch out for their children’s actions to ensure full protection of these kids’ rights to survival, protection, development,” De Lima said.
“Media practitioners, on their part, should be critical about the content that they publish, especially involving children, to avoid subjecting individuals to inappropriate and sensationalized publicity,” she added. /kga
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