SAN Juan City (Metro Manila) Mayor Guia Gomez called on parents to watch their children following reports that young students are being used as drug couriers.
Gomez said she asked the local police to inspect schools regularly to ensure that students are not preyed upon by drug syndicates.
Based on a recent survey conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), illegal drugs proliferated in 21 barangays (villages) in the city.
“We thought that poverty, hunger, and education were the most pressing problems here in San Juan. However, we found out it was the continued proliferation of illegal drugs as most crimes are drug-related,” Gomez said in an interview over the weekend.
“The problem is that minors were being used in [illegal drug]operations, and we cannot jail them because the law exempts them from any criminal liability,” the mayor added.
Under Republic Act 10630, which amended the Juvenile Justice System and Welfare Act of 2006, a child aged 15 or below at the commission of the crime is exempt from criminal liability.
Gomez also said the city government has allotted funds for the construction of a rehabilitation center to house minors using drugs.