THERE are some good lessons that can be learned from the numerous cases of gruesome deaths of children in various parts of this graft-prone and poverty-stricken nation.
No less than Senator Grace Poe has called for the speedy resolution of these cases, but it is also imperative to determine whether these killings were arbitrary executions.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 498, the lady lawmaker underscored the importance of exercising restraint and care in dealing with children in conflict with the law (CICL).
Under the Philippine National Police’s manual in handling cases of CICL, the use of handcuffs and other instruments of force may only be applied after all other methods of control have been exhausted.
Likewise, the same police manual provides that the use of unnecessary force against children, notably minors, is prohibited without exception and considered a criminal offense.
We agree with the lady senator that we must ensure that the operational protocols of law enforcement agencies strictly adhere to the enshrined rights in our laws and international conventions.
In Senate Resolution No. 498, Poe cited the killings of Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was found dead in Gapan, Nueva Ecija with multiple stab wounds.
Aside from the three, it was reported that other youngsters have been killed in either police operations or vigilante-style killings in various parts of the country since July 2016.
Of course, Filipinos concede that there are more crimes being committed by children, many of them drug-crazed, these days as the government intensifies its campaign against the “drug monster.”
That’s why there’s now that urgent need for concerned government authorities, including members of Congress, to come up with a comprehensive system to deal with these young law-breakers.