From ‘ningas-kugon,’ Caloocan cops join ‘Rody’ curfew drive
As the police and local governments become more aggressive in implementing juvenile curfew laws, Caloocan City is joining the apparent trend with its own “tougher” ordinance to keep minors at home and off the streets late at night.
“It was just ningas-kugon (a short-lived initiative) before. We have an existing ordinance but it was not being implemented well,” Senior Supt. Bartolome Bustamante, the city police chief, said on Saturday, as his men prepared to enforce their version of the so-called “Oplan Rody.”
“Rody” was inspired by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, who won the May elections on an anticrime agenda. But police officials earlier said it also stands for the campaign dubbed “Rid the Streets of Drunks and Youths.”
In 1997, then Caloocan Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo approved City Ordinance No. 0247, which prohibits youths 17 years old and below from roaming the streets from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. For first-time offenders, their parents are just summoned and reminded about the ban; a second and third violation carry a fine of P300 and P500, respectively. A fourth offense sends the minor to a social welfare facility.
But last week, the city council passed Ordinance No. 1613, which set harsher penalties. Under the new measure, first-time curfew violators shall undergo counseling and can choose between paying a P1,000 fine and rendering 48 hours of community service.
For second-timers: two counseling sessions and a fine of P1,500 or 72 hours of community service. A third offense is punished with a P3,000 fine or a three-month jail term for the parents. Minors caught for the fourth time shall be turned over to social workers.
“With this strict implementation of curfew, there will be lower cases of juvenile delinquency, rape, harassment, theft and robbery and physical injuries,” said Bustamante, adding that his men will start the enforcement in July. Jodee A. Agoncillo and Jhena Sy