THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should file child abuse charges on 13 Caloocan City policemen who allegedly robbed a house following an illegal raid last September 7, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
“The DSWD and the DOJ are the lead agencies tasked to enforce the 1992 law protecting children. They should be the ones to file the criminal charges against the officers involved,” Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list said in a statement.
The policemen allegedly conspired with a minor who was caught stealing valuables from the home of 51-year-old Gina Erobas based on footage from a closed circuit television (CCTV) in the area.
Investigation showed that P26,000 worth of belongings were taken.
The policemen did not have a search warrant when they raided the house of Erobas and neither did they file a spot report.
“We cannot have our very own officers of the law exploiting children, just like Akyat Bahay gangs using kids to break into homes, or drug pushers taking advantage of minors as movers,” Atienza said.
“What the officers did in this case constitutes gross inexcusable
ignorance of the law and barefaced negligence,” Atienza said.
Under Republic Act 7610, or Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the policemen may face dismissal from service, prison terms and perpetual disqualification from public office.
Some estimated 1,000 Caloocan City policemen were relieved and would undergo “retraining” after this incident and a series of controversial killings involving young suspects during anti-crime operations.
RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA