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     The Philippines Supreme court have heeded the cry of a youth group against the implement curfew for minors from 10:00 at night to 5:00 in the morning in the cities of Manila, Quezon, Navotas claiming it is against the republic Act No. 9344 or also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act and issued a Temporary Restraining order(TRO)

Youth group asks SC to nullify curfew ordinances

In a 39-page petition, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) through their counsel Atty. Jesus Falcis III urged the high court to issue a temporary restraining order against the ordinances that impose curfews and eventually nullify them for being vague, unjust and repressive.

SPARK specifically wants the high court to declare as unconstitutional curfew ordinances in Manila, Quezon City, and Navotas.

The Manila curfew ordinance, petitioners said, is contrary to Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.

Under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, curfew violations are considered  status offenses. Status offenses are offenses which discriminate only against a child, while an adult does not suffer any penalty for committing similar acts. These shall include curfew violations, truancy, parental disobedience and the like.

Curfew is allowed only if no penalty shall be imposed on children caught violating the curfew.

In Manila, however, SPARK said those caught violating curfews shall face a sanction of a reprimand for the youth, admonition for the parent or guardian.

If the offender is under 18 years old, the penalty shall be an admonition for the first offense, reprimand, and warning for the second offense and imprisonment of 1 to 10 days or P2,000 fine or both for the third offense and subsequent offenses.

Aside from Manila, the other curfew ordinances in Quezon City and Navotas are vague because there is no clear standard on how to implement it or how to determine who are the minors violating the curfew.

“Some young adults look like they are below 18 or what could be called as baby-faced. Some of them will be tagged as violators while some of them will not be,” the petition stated.

“The apprehension or non-apprehension of baby-faced looking adults will depend on the differing application of law enforcers. Furthermore, some minors can look like they are already of legal age and will not be apprehended while young adults will be apprehended,” the petition further stated.

Petitioners said if the government wants to prevent crime at night, there are less restrictive means such as massive street lighting programs, installation of closed-circuit television (CCTVs) on public streets and regular visible patrols by law enforcers. RAM/ rga

However, despite the TRO, President Rodrigo Duterte says he is still rooting for the high tribunal to see the wisdom in the implementation of the curfew for the sake of the children and the betterment of society

the curfew for minors is not really a criminal proceeding as we have insisted, President Duterte explained

It is a mechanism where we take the child out of the street to protect him from predators, from being utilized as a seller of shabu, from being raped. These are the problems, President Duterte said

the president explained that he only hopes to keep the youth safe and to teach parents to be responsible and their children as well.

He also recalled a case wherein a minor had slept under his mother's car if not for the authorities who have found the mirror

That night I had the parents arrested, but if not for the intervention of Gabriela, Hindi ko talaga bibitawan. there was an abandonment of minor, that's the case

You are being arrested according to President Duterte because you abandon your children. arrest them bring them to jail. President Duterte said

Our President only concerned and just wanted to protect us to bad people roaming the streets during 10pm onwards, he knows that there's a lot of abnormal doing on those hours, such as selling of drugs, hold up, even rapist you might become the victim if you were on streets  during does hours, installation of closed-circuit television (CCTVs) on public streets and regular visible patrols by law enforcers, are not assurance of hundred percent of safety because we never know what might happen if we encounter that incident, so as a citizen of the Philippines it requires to start it on our self, it is for our own safety.



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