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Opinion

Fleeting minors

VERBAL VARIETY - The Freeman

The Cebu City Police Office has decided to ramp up operations against minors who go against the curfew ordinance. This means they will patrol the streets at night from midnight until dawn to make sure no children below 18 years old are out. They will also look into establishments that are accommodating minors. This drastic move was triggered by the senseless killing that ended the life of a 16-year-old scholar.

Apparently, the incident was a robbery for a simple cell phone. The victim refused to hand it over to the perpetrators who were also minors. In the end, he was stabbed multiple times until he died. The parents are wailing, demanding justice. The day of his death was supposedly a special day for their family. Now they mourn until today.

I don’t blame the police for reviving "Oplan Bulabog" which was made known during the height of the pandemic. The operation used to focus on quarantine violators, particularly those who didn’t follow curfew hours and health protocols. A number of them also included adults who were sent to Plaza Independencia for booking before undergoing a three-hour seminar and serving an hour of public service. It included cleaning the shoreline by the South Coastal Road and other garbage-strewn areas.

Today, the mission is different. The authorities are back in the streets to teach youngsters that they aren’t supposedly allowed to be out loitering at night. However, is this responsibility really with the police? If we go by the book, the basic unit of society is the family. It is in the household where a child should learn proper manners and values. This, ideally, should include proper seeking of permission when wanting to go out. Apparently, this is already an unguarded element in society so they are free to leave their homes or wherever they come from.

Looking back, I see how the effect of the family is very instrumental to a child's well-being. It is true that a young mind should grow under care and love. Everything must be sufficient for them to develop into well-bred citizens. Somewhere along the way in this modern time, events go topsy-turvy. Children, who only have fewer coping mechanisms are gullible to negative activities.

Although it is the primary responsibility of the police to make sure we are all safe, let us not give them the burden of taking care of the children too. Maybe we can parent our neighbors who do not have anywhere to go or are probably lost in their teenage years. Our smiles could be helpful to them, maybe even inspire them to be better individuals. There are many other crimes that the authorities must focus on, pressing issues that are hounding society. Not to mention, the war on drugs is far from over. They, too, are humans. These men in uniform need to go home to their families and be parents too.

CURFEW

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