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Parents to be penalized by curfew law

First Posted 06:42:00 08/23/2010

A PROPOSED curfew ordinance in Cebu City will no longer penalize minors caught violating the curfew, but their parents.

City Councillor Edgardo Labella, chairman of the Committee on Laws, Good Government and Ordinances, said he proposed an amendment to the city curfew ordinance last year because the old ordinance had been superseded by Sen. Francisco Pangilinan?s Juvenile and Welfare Act.

Labella said that under the old curfew ordinance, minors caught loitering from10 p.m. to 4 a.m. will be placed under detention. But with the new law, Labella said that minor children would no longer be detained.

Labella said the new amendment to the curfew ordinance states that if a minor is apprehended for the first time by law enforcers, the parents will be called, lectured and reminded.

If a minor violates the curfew ordinance for the second time, the parents will undergo a seminar and will be asked to sign an undertaking that they will monitor and keep the minor at home after 10 p.m.

For the third and succeeding times a minor violates the curfew, the parents will be made to do community service for seven days.

In his proposed resolution, Labella is urging barangays to implement the curfew ordinance because minors are being used by unscrupulous people to commit crimes.

He said drug pushers were using minors as couriers in their illegal drug business because minors especially those below 15 years old are not criminally liable.

Labella is also worried that minors are being recruited as members of gangs or fraternities that are involved in several crimes not only in Cebu City but in other localities because they cannot be penalized.

Labella said that there were several barangay officials in mountain barangays that have sought his assistance on what to do with minors who are residents of other places but roam in their barangay late at night since they could not contact their parents.

Labella suggested that minors should be placed in a holding center if there is one available but if not, they should be placed under the protected custody of the barangay officials.

Mayor Michael Rama earlier said he was not in favor of the curfew ordinance because it was like imposing martial law on minors. He would like the kids not to be deprived of their activities that are part of their development.

Some parents have also objected to the implementation of the curfew ordinance for fear that some abusive law enforcers might take advantage and harm their kids.

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