4 of 20 Manila streetkids who escaped from shelter caught
Around 20 street kids picked up by the Manila social welfare unit escaped from the city-managed Boystown in Marikina City on Wednesday.
Nanet Tanyag, social welfare unit head, said that the homeless children who were rescued from Binondo and Quiapo between 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. that same day escaped shortly after lunch.
“While they were eating lunch, one began to shout and a commotion ensued. The children took advantage of the situation and ran away,” she said, denying reports that the facility’s guards had fired guns to stop them.
According to Tanyag, Marikina policemen “intercepted” four of the 20 while they were still looking for the rest.
Asked why the children escaped, she said they apparently preferred to stay out in the streets rather than inside the facility.
The children, she added, were making money by asking for alms from businessmen in Binondo and Quiapo.
“And they are happy when they earn by doing that,” she Tanyag told the Inquirer.
Asked about reports that some children were being treated inhumanely at the facility, Tanyag denied these.
She said that even before the children were taken to Boystown, they were fed so they would not go hungry.
“What inhumane treatment? We did not have any problems with the first two batches we took there,” she added.
She was referring to the children her unit rescued from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Tuesday from Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Malate. Another batch was picked up from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that same day from the Blumentritt and Avenida areas.
All in all, including the 20 who escaped, 400 children have been rescued since Tuesday, she reported.
Tanyag also denied that there was not enough space for newcomers in the facility.
She said that Boystown had four buildings—one for boys, another for girls, another for families and one for orphans aged three years old and below.
“At that time, the (children who escaped) were having lunch, they were being processed, meaning it was being determined what building in Boystown they would be staying,” Tanyag told the Inquirer.
“There is ample space in Boystown,” she added.
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