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Duterte curfew: Kids’ parents to be arrested

May 17, 2016 · 

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DAVAO CITY—Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte would order the arrest of parents of children who would be found roaming the streets past the 10 p.m. curfew that the clear winner in the presidential race would enforce nationwide and which had gained success in this city.

Duterte said the 10 p.m. curfew would apply to unescorted minors.

The incoming leader of the country said he would have the children’s parents arrested for abandonment.

“My order is not to arrest the child,” he told reporters late Sunday.

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He said children who would be found in the streets past the curfew would be turned over for custody of government agencies, like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and police would arrest their parents later.

Last year, two women in this city were arrested for violating Republic Act No. 7610, or the law that, among others, lists down the mandated duties of parents as an added layer of protecting children against abuse.

The two women were mothers of children that the mayor found sleeping on the street.

One of the women, however, said she left her children at home as she had to work as a house helper. The other woman said she and her husband tried but failed to look for their child who ran away from home.

During the arrest of the two women in March last year, the women’s group Gabriela said it was unfair to put the blame on women who are only trying hard to provide for their children but are unable to do it because of the discrimination that women suffer in work places.

“It’s true there are many women who do not have enough capacity to provide for a humane and decent life for their children but it’s not the fault of mothers why they are poor,” said Mary Ann Sapar, secretary general of Gabriela Davao.

“Most women are not given enough chances to get a decent job with enough pay that would provide for their family, most women don’t even have access to government social services, it’s unfair for mothers who have been desperately trying hard to provide for her children to get all the blame, be immediately dismissed as bad mothers, just because they are poor,” she said.

Duterte said on the mandatory curfew, “you cannot arrest the minors, arrest the parents instead.”

He said village chairs would help police locate negligent parents.

“If [they would] not, they (village chairs) should face charges of neglect of duty or I will suspend them,” Duterte said, saying they are answerable under the Revised Penal Code for abandonment of duty if the village chairs failed to help police in this task. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao

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