Stop circulating photo of child on leash – DSWD
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) appealed to netizens to stop reposting the photo of a boy, about 3 to 4 years old, to protect him from possible trauma in the future.
"Please help stop making it viral as it might traumatize the child as he grows up," DSWD Director Joel Espejo told Rappler in a phone interview.
According to Espejo, the photo might affect the child if he sees the humiliation while growing up.
"Please don't make a joke out of it," Espejo stressed, echoing Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman's earlier statement.
“Kahit nagbibiruan lang, masamang biro. Hindi alam ng bata na binibiro siya (Even if it was made in jest, it was done in bad taste. The child does not know that it is just a joke),” Soliman earlier said.
The viral photo showing the naked boy on a leash being treated like a dog by his mother was originally posted on Facebook supposedly by the boy's mother with the following caption:
"Bago ko nga palang alagang aso. Ha! Ha! Lakas ng tama ng anak ko, sunod-sunuran naman. #dami kong tawa dito, grabe!" (Here's my new pet dog. Ha! ha! My son looks high on drugs, doing as he is told. This really made me laugh.)
The post angered thousands of netizens prompting the DSWD to investigate the report.
“It is a clear case of child abuse and the perpetrator is liable under the Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Act and under Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law,” Soliman added.
DSWD found and rescued the child on Tuesday, May 26. The child is now under the care of the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) in Bataan. – Rappler.com
Editor's note: We previously used a background file photo of a Reception and Study Center for Children in Zamboanga, which had nothing to do with the story. We apologize for the error and have made the necessary correction.