‘Child is also victim:’ Unicef asks public to stop vilifying Nuezca’s daughter
MANILA, Philippines — United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) appeals to the public to stop criticizing the daughter of Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, stressing the child is also a “victim.”
“The child is also a victim in this situation. We appeal to the public to refrain from using violent language and posting her photos and personal information,” Unicef said in a statement on Wednesday.
However, Unicef said that “extreme online vilification” will only lead to additional “harm, trauma and stigma to the child.”
According to Unicef, all children “have the right to be supported through non-violent parenting practices and behaviors from adults to enable them to grow up in a safe environment and reach their full potential.”
It explained that various studies had shown children who are victims of and those who witness violence become vulnerable to physical and mental health problems, some of which will manifest when they reach adulthood.
Viral videos of the incident showed the child standing near her father during heated exchanges with Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony.
During the confrontation, the girl shouted at Sonya: “My father is a policeman.”
“I don’t care,” Gregorio shouted back, enraging Nuezca, who drew his 9mm M-92 service pistol and shot her point-blank in the head, then Frank Anthony twice. Before leaving with his daughter, Nuezca shot Sonya once more as she lay on the ground.
Netizens have since then blamed and shamed Nuecza’s daughter online, pointing out that the dispute escalated because of the child’s jeering.
The widower of Sonya and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have also appealed to the public to spare the child from further vilification.
DSWD had already promised to provide psychosocial support for the child and other witnesses of the crime, which Unicef recommended.
Unicef also urged the Philippine government and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately adopt and implement the PNP Child Protection policy, which will reinforce zero-tolerance for any act of violence against children and ensure special protection of children from all forms of abuse and exploitation by providing policies and guidelines to be followed by all PNP personnel. Zac Sarao, trainee
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