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Welfare body eyes custody of child in hostage drama

(The Freeman) - September 30, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children technical working group will meet social workers in Bogo City anytime soon to discuss moves on how to go about taking custody of the three-year-old child who was held hostage by his father.

This was after PCWC learned that the same child once experienced abuse by another relative.

Hedda Largo, PCWC executive assistant, disclosed that the child was placed in a shelter after that abuse happened but was returned to the family as part of the Commission’s reintegration process.

She, however, could not recall the date of the incident where the child was maltreated, but assured that the technical working group would look further into the matter.

“Unya ang nahitabo, ang amahan na pud ron. We are working on it. (We will consider) always the best interest of the child,” she said. The child is currently in the custody of the socials workers in Bogo City.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who sits as co-chairperson of the PCWC, has directed a team from the Commission to visit the child in Bogo and have initial talks with the social workers there.

Meanwhile, the director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office commended Bogo City Police Station in having saved the three-year-old child from the father.

Senior Superintendent Noel Gillamac, however, said they will have to assess if the police responders have followed standard operating procedure for rescue operations.

Last Tuesday morning, a six-hour hostage drama involving a man and his three-year-old son ended with the suspect landing in the hospital for a gunshot wound he suffered after policemen swooped in on him to rescue the child.

Gillamac said with situations like that likely to happen again, a training for the Special Weapons and Tactics personnel deployed in all congressional districts of Cebu would be instituted.

He said that during the inter-district SWAT competition, he observed that some SWAT personnel need to improve on the way they respond to emergencies such as hostage-takings.

He said one observation is that some of the SWAT personnel were not concerned about their safety.

“It’s not enough nga naa silay bullet-proof vest and Kevlar helmet nga magpataka na lang sad sila og sulong,” Gillamac said.

He said that in emergencies, responding personnel need to do a careful analysis of the situation.

At the same time, we want to protect the life of our SWAT personnel as well as the life of the hostage and the hostage-taker,” said Gillamac.

As to the incident in Bogo City, he said he has already talked with Superintendent Richard Oliver, Bogo City Police Station chief, on observations made as the scenario unfolded.

“For example, daghan kaayo og mga tawo sa area who might get involved. So, we will review that,” he said. — (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BOGO CITY BOGO CITY POLICE STATION CEBU PROVINCIAL COUNCIL CEBU PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE CHILD GILLAMAC HEDDA LARGO LAST TUESDAY SENIOR SUPERINTENDENT NOEL GILLAMAC SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS
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