Here he comes: ‘Tatay Digong’ puppet wages war on drugs
The community relations arm of the Philippine National Police is bringing “Tatay Digong” to schools to educate the children about the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the police.
Amid a rising number of children getting involved in the illegal drugs trade, the Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) will be going around schools in the metropolis with a puppet version of President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the consequences of using and selling drugs.
“Sa school, meron kaming hinandang puppet shows, kung saan ang bida namin dito ay si Tatay Digong… nagsasalita doon, and then si General Bato (Dela Rosa) and yung mga adik,” PCRG director Senior Supt. Gilbert Cruz said in an interview at Camp Crame on Monday.
(In schools, we prepared puppet shows where the protagonist is Duterte… speaking there, and we also have General Dela Rosa and drug addicts.)
“[Then] ‘yung bata, si Miguel na kinukumbinsi ng mga adik na sumama sa kanila. So ‘yun ang mga magiging takbo ng mga istorya,” he said.
(Then, a child character called Miguel is being convinced by drug addicts to join them. That’s how the story will go.)
The “Tatay Digong” puppet is wearing his trademark checkered polo shirt.
“Aside from that, meron kaming ipapamigay na mga flyers [and] posters doon sa iba’t-ibang lugar, strategic areas dito sa Metro Manila. Meron din sa buong bansa. And ‘yung mga comics namin na nakatuon talaga doon sa pagtuturo sa mga bata, matatanda at sa mga magulang,” Cruz said.
(Aside from that, we will give out flyers and posters in different strategic areas in Metro Manila and also nationwide. The comics are really meant for teaching kids, elders, and parents.)
Cruz said many children as young as eight years old are now involved in the criminal activity.
“Sa record na nakita ko, meron tayong 8 years old na ginamit na sa illegal trade, pagbebenta ng drugs. Ito ‘yung mga nagdadala kase ayaw nang lumutang eh. ‘Yung mga matatanda sa kanto… pinapa-deliver nila doon sa mga bata,” Cruz said.
(In the records that we saw, we have an 8 year old who was used in the illegal trade of selling drugs. These are the ones who carry it because they don’t want to surface. The elders at the corner of the streets… they have the drugs delivered by kids.)
In some drug operations, police also arrest teenagers joining pot sessions.
“Aside from that, may mga teenager tayo na nahuhuli na rin sa mga pot sessions, na kasama na rin sa paggamit; nagiging user na rin po ng illegal drugs.”
(Aside from that, we have caught teenagers in pot sessions who have become users of illegal drugs.)
While the project is originally school-based, Cruz said that they also deliver lectures for the out-of-school youths. With Kristina Casandra Tayam, INQUIRER.net trainee/JE/rga
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