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Bar raids net underage drinkers but no drugs

MANILA, Philippines–Twenty-seven minors who probably wanted a drink or two after a long day in school spent the wee hours of Friday at the Manila Police District (MPD) after a crackdown on establishments near schools on Taft Avenue forbidden by law from serving alcoholic beverages to underage youth.

Policemen, together with personnel from the Manila Bureau of Permits, inspected three establishments on Thursday night amid reports that alcoholic beverages were sold there with no permits to do so.

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“During the inspection, which started around 8 p.m., we took in 27 minors, mostly students, who were found to be drinking alcoholic beverages in the said establishments,” said Supt. Marissa Bruno, chief of the MPD Public Information Office.

The minors, some as young as 15 years old, were brought to police headquarters. “We then notified their parents or guardians after they were interviewed by social welfare department personnel,” Bruno said, adding that no charges would be filed against the minors, who were later released.

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Police refused to name the establishments, but an eyewitness told the Inquirer the raiders went to Plato bar across De La Salle University   and The Barn and Beach restaurants along Fidel Reyes Street, a short walk from the DLSU campus.

Marc Englis, a DLSU student and a photographer for The Lasallian, DLSU’s official student publication, said he was at the site and saw “lots of policemen guarding the gates. They were ushering everyone out and asking them if they had government-issued IDs to prove their age.”

Bruno said the three establishments did not have permits to sell alcohol and were close to the schools.

“The Bureau of Permits said their permits allowed them to operate, but not to serve alcohol,” she said.

In a recent column, Inquirer’s Ramon Tulfo alleged that illegal drugs were being sold near DLSU and College of St. Benilde. But Bruno said the operation was not spurred by the report.

“We did not find any illegal drugs. We were asked by the Bureau of Permits to check reports that establishments in the area were selling alcoholic beverages without a permit,” she said.

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TAGS: Alcohol, bar raids, Laws, Manila, minors, Police
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