Kids as young as 6 years old test positive for drugs—QC councilor
MANILA, Philippines — Children as young as six to nine years old have tested positive for illegal drugs use, a city councilor claimed during a Senate hearing on Friday.
Quezon City Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica told the Senate committee on justice, and human rights that rescued children were being subjected to drug tests.
The committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon was tasked to tackle the proposed lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the present 15 years old.
“Doon po nalalaman namin na as early as six years old to nine years old, may nate-test po kami, positive sya sa shabu, sa marijuana at sa solvent,” said Ludovica, who also chairs the city’s Department of Public Order and Safety.
“Noong tinatanong na po namin ang kabataang ito, lagi po naming natutuklasan na ang magulang ang talagang pabaya sa mga bata pong ito,” he said.
Gordon then asked if cases have been filed against the children and their parents.
The councilor said they were planning to file charges but lamented the lack of licensed social workers who would assist them.
Gordon then asked Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde if police have detention rooms or holdings centers for minors.
The senator noted that there were some cases where minors were placed in detention cells, stressing it was a violation under the existing law.
“Alam ko yan, bawal yan. Nasa batas bawal na bawal yan pero nangyayari di ba? “ Gordon said.
Albayalde said they don’t have specific detention cells, but they have women and children’s protections desks in all police stations.
After terminating the hearing, Gordon told reporters that he would be recommending the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability to 12 years old.
The same proposal was contained in a bill that was approved on second reading by the House of Representatives. /muf
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