Palace: It’s OK to spank kids
Amid criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte’s veto of a bill prohibiting physical punishment of children, Malacañang maintains that spankings help them grow into “good citizens” as long as these are not excessive.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday insisted that corporal punishment was an effective way to discipline children.
Panelo pointed out that the generation of Filipinos he and the President came from were disciplined by their parents that they grew up to be good citizens.
‘One look and we’ll follow’
“What the President is saying is punish them but in a restrained manner. You know why? The President and I, our generation were given discipline by our parents. Just one look and we will follow. It means it’s effective,” he said.
The Palace official recalled his own childhood days when his mother made him kneel on coarse salt or in a corner, and, yes, hitting him on the bottom.
“Just one look from them and we will follow. It means it’s effective; that’s why we became good citizens, afraid, rather, not afraid but respectful of laws and ethics,” he said in a radio interview.
The United Nations Children’s Fund and the Child Rights Network (CRN) have appealed to the President to reconsider his veto of the bill on spanking children.
“We want to emphasize that violent discipline does not produce law-abiding citizens, but causes juvenile delinquency, aggression, intergenerational transfer of abuse, and even drug or alcohol abuse,” the CRN said.
Child rights groups have argued that the proposal was meant to promote positive discipline instead of corporal punishment, and not to impede the rights of parents to discipline their child.
“The problem with those opposing is that they are not listening to the President’s explanation. He said you should not remove the power and duty of parents to discipline their children,” Panelo said on Sunday.
Though he vetoed the bill, the President objects to “excessive punishment” and “excessive physical abuse,” he said.
According to Malacañang, corporal punishment teaches children to be remorseful of their misbehavior and avoid doing it again.
But excessive punishment bordering on physical or child abuse is another matter, it said.
“If you hurt a child excessively, that’s a different matter. You will be liable under the law. First, we have laws for that. You don’t need another law because anything that is excessive physical infliction is against the law,” Panelo said.
Asked if the presidential veto might embolden parents to hurt their children, Malacañang pointed out that nobody would want to hurt his or her child.
“You won’t do that if you’re a parent. Parents love their children. Parents won’t do anything to destroy their children as a general rule, unless the parent is a drug addict or dabbles in shabu (crystal meth),” Panelo said. —Julie M. Aurelio
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