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Davao Mayor Order Parents arrested

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31 minors rescued

Kids picked off the streets on Duterte’s orders; parents might face charges
Five minors were rescued on Wednesday evening by the Davao City Police Office and the City Social Services Development Office following Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s directive on Sunday to keep them off the streets.

Sr. Insp. Milgrace Driz, DCPO spokesperson, Duterte has a marching order to file a case against the parents if it can be proven that they neglected the children.

“We combed through San Pedro Street to rescue the stray children,” she said, adding that the operation was led by the quick response team of the Women and Children’s Desk.

Based on data, there are 31 children rescued since Monday conducted by the WCPD-DCPO, CSSDO and San Pedro Police Precinct.

The parents possibly face a case in violation of Republict Act 7610 or “The Special Protection For a Child Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act” and PD 603 or the “Child and Youth Welfare Code.”

Authorities rescued five children ages 6 to 8 including alias Buktot, a 7-year-old boy and resident of St. John Street in Bucana at around 11:30 p.m.

“They are now in the custody of the CSSDO to determine if they still have parents. If not, the local government will take care of them,” she said.

The police officer said these minors sleep near shopping malls, banks or footsteps of establishments, “particularly if there’s no security guard around.”

“We are still assessing if we have to return them to their parents,” she added.

PO1 Maricel Bio of the San Pedro Police Precinct’s Women and Children’s Desk said they started patroling the streets since Monday, a day after Duterte’s directive in his “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” program.

Duterte has ordered all barangay captains and the police to take custody of all children and minors on the streets and arrest their parents if necessary.

“So that now, no children can be seen on the streets,” Duterte told reporters Saturday night.

“I will not arrest the children because children can’t be arrested but it is the inherent responsibility of government to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves,” he said, adding the city has at least seven shelters to house the children.

Early last week, Duterte was outraged to see three minors sleeping under a car parked by the roadside in a wee morning hours.

“I was passing by Barrio Obrero at around 3 a.m., when I saw people turning their flashlights under the car parked near the road,” Duterte said. “Three children were there sleeping under the car, I was angry. I ordered the police to bring the children to a shelter and go arrest their parents.”

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