9 parents of minors ‘saved’ from drug den to be charged | Inquirer News

9 parents of minors ‘saved’ from drug den to be charged

04:01 AM October 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Navotas City Prosecutor’s Office has approved the filing of charges against 9 of 17 parents whose children were “rescued” from a drug den during a buy-bust operation conducted by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in January.

The nine — parents to 6 of the 12 minors — were earlier accused of violating Republic Act No. 7610 by a barangay chair after they allegedly failed to “exercise their parental obligation” and protect their children from abuse and exploitation. Melvin Manalo, Barangay North Bay Boulevard North chair, said that PDEA’s surveillance activities between Jan. 9 and 13 proved that the 12 children were either directly involved in the drug trade or acted as lookouts, earning P200 to P500 a day.

“[Said] acts debased, degraded or demeaned the intrinsic worth and dignity of the children as human beings,” 0assistant city prosecutor William Reynon Jr. said in his June 10 resolution released only recently.


“Were it not [for] their (parents’) indifference, their minor children would not have been involved in the illegal drug activities by selling [aluminum foil] and acting as lookouts [for] scorers,” he added.


Reynon, on the other hand, dismissed the complaints against 8 other parents after he did not find enough evidence against them.

The PDEA raid conducted on Jan. 16 also led to the arrest of 15 drug suspects, including two who were allegedly using the children as couriers or runners.

The agency, however, drew flak from netizens and a lawyers’ group which accused it of humiliating the minors by interrogating them in front of media. —Meg Adonis

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