PHILIPPINE National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa said a curfew for minors should be implemented to prevent the youth from getting involved in crimes.
“It has been the source of frustration for the PNP for a long time,” de la Rosa told reporters.
Based on his experience, drug lords use minors in their activities because these children get away lightly unlike adults who get punished drastically and are fined heavily.
The Juvenile Justice Act of 2006, that Sen. Francis Pangilinan sponsored, states that minors who commit and participate in crimes will not receive any jail sentence for their acts but are to be taken under the custody of the government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The PNP chief said the law is also a “source of frustration” because it gives protection to juvenile deliquents.
De la Rosa recounted his experience as a police chief in Davao City when a drug lord used minors to deliver drugs in exchange for money for playing video games.
“Those kids are being ued for criminal activities. I discovered a drug lord who used to go to an internet cafe to observe kids hooked on video games. When these kids lose, they desperately look for money to continue playing. When he sees the minor frustrated over the lack of money, the drug lord approaches the kid, talks to him then gives the minor P1,000, to deliver a cake. That cake, it turns out is loaded with shabu. These kids become shabu couriers in Davao,” he said.
Two bills on enforcing a curfew for minors—House Bill (HB) 894 and the HB 7110—are in the process of being approved in Congress.
Both bills aim to implement a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for minors. Their parents will be held accountable if their children are caught in the streets during these hours.
President Rodrigo Duterte previously supported the idea of implementing a curfew for minors. He said that it will not only prevent them from committing crimes, it would also protect them from predators victimizing them or using them for their crimes.