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Consider the Children in Jail

January 6, 2003 ·  , Philippine Daily Inquirer

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WHILE the rich politicians are celebrating with parties and pomp the birth of the child Jesus, they ignore the sub-human conditions of thousands of children in the Philippines whoa re imprisoned with criminals. This is so unworthy of the Filipino people. The media need to give more investigative coverage to the plight of these children which Newsweek claims to be as many as 20,000.

The government officials live in luxury and are mired in corruption, which you have exposed time and again. Perhaps we can get something done to stop the imprisonment of children. The report is based on visits to 16 prisons, judges and prosecutors and interview with the children and minors.

PREDA has been working in the prisons to rescue children from these horrific conditions as found in some illegally detained in many cases and where their human rights have been seriously violated. Many are innocent and they are victims of a flawed justice system. We are trying to reform the law, known as the Juvenile Justice Bill, stalled in Congress. We are making contributions to this bill to help consolidate the many submissions.

Please open this to the public and help us change things in the Philippines so the future of children at risk will not end in filthy jails and dungeons. We are sharing this letter with our many supporters who will be on the look-out for the coverage.
FR. SHAY CULLEN,
President, PREDA Foundation
(People’s Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance),
Upper Kalaklan,
2200 Olongapo City

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