Families of detained minors file writ for habeas corpus
Families of the 10 minors aged 12 to 17 who were arrested at a barricade set up by residents at Barangay Sta. Lucia in Pasig City last week were forced to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus after attempts to visit their children were repeatedly denied by officials at the city-run Bahay Aruga shelter in Barangay Pinagbuhatan.
Assisted by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the families filed the petition on Monday after National Anti-Poverty Commission head Liza Maza and Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Elago were also denied entry.
They also attempted to meet with the Pasig City social welfare officer and Mayor Robert Eusebio but were turned away as the city government was busy holding a “People’s Day” public forum.
On Sunday, the supposed visitation day at Bahay Aruga, Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Ma. Lourdes Turalde-Jarabe and Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas also tried to visit the children only to be denied entry.
One of the mothers of the minors who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal, told the media on Monday that she last saw her 17-year-old son on Friday.
At that time, 39 of the 41 persons arrested following a clash between policemen and residents trying to prevent the demolition of their houses in a so-called “danger zone” underwent inquest proceedings.
Rough treatment from cops
“My son spoke up at the [inquest], saying the police had twisted his arms and slapped him on the head when they arrested him, and that children were being hurt even at Bahay Aruga,” the teary-eyed mother said.
She claimed her son was not part of the barricade leading to East Bank in Barangay Sta. Lucia, but just happened to be passing by the area on his way to visit her.
“He was just taking pictures at the barricade with his friends,” she said.
“There is no basis [for the minors’] arrest,” Elago said. “They were just rounded up in ‘clearing operations’ or a house-to-house ‘hot pursuit… One of them was just on the way to buy something from the store. This is why we condemn this.”
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