MANILA, Philippines – Children’s rights advocates condemned the recent killing of a 15-year-old girl in Ilocos Sur after she filed a molestation complaint against a cop in a neighboring town.
The Child Rights Network (CRN) on Wednesday, July 8, demanded “swift and complete justice” for the victims over what they endured “in the hands of people who were supposed to protect them.”
Two cops earlier arrested the 15-year-old girl and her cousin for violating the curfew in San Juan, Ilocos Sur. One of the cops allegedly molested her, while the other cop allegedly raped her cousin. She was killed on July 2, after she filed a complaint against one of the cops from San Juan town, at a police station in her hometown, Cabigao.
“Using the quarantine rules to commit sexual violence and other crimes is unacceptable, utterly abusive, and frankly, reflects impunity among the deviants in our law enforcement,” CRN said.
“At a time when the citizenry have no choice but to strictly follow quarantine rules, having State implementers that take advantage of these situations to commit crimes not only put the government in a bad light but severely diminishes the public’s trust in our uniformed personnel,” it added.
The girl filed a molestation complaint against Staff Sergeant Marawi Torda, while Staff Sergeant Randy Ramos was accused of raping her cousin. Murder complaints had been filed against them for alleged involvement in the killing.
Let children be heard
Condemning the killing, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said that “society should never be accustomed to such egregious attacks against children.”
“Every child has an inalienable right to live a life without violence and be treated by society with their best interest in mind,” Unicef said.
“When a child asserts her or his rights and reports wrongdoing against her or him, society should celebrate this act of courage by providing the child with access to justice and adequate support,” it added
Unicef urged the Philippines to improve the capacity of local officials to implement child-sensitive protocols, especially since the country is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Alberto Muyot of Save the Children Philippines also echoed this sentiment, highlighting that July 2020 marks the 30th years since the country ratified the human rights treaty protecting children.
Local officials, such as police officers and barangay leaders, should adhere to policies and guidelines issued by government agencies regarding the “humane and dignified” treatment of children who violate ordinances related to the pandemic.
“Violence against children, including those inflicted by law enforcement authorities who are duty-bound to protect them, is condemnable and must be put to an end,” Muyot said. – Rappler.com
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