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Opinion

EDITORIAL — How was this allowed to happen?

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � How was this allowed to happen?

Road accidents are nothing new. In a country with an extensive highway network extending from major metropolises into the provinces, anything from minor mishaps to major incidents are bound to happen every once in a while.

But what happened last Monday in Argao town should be seen as a wakeup call.

As is common with most highway accidents, it happened after one vehicle intruded into the opposite lane of traffic. In this case it was a motorcycle that hit a bus coming from the other direction.

Only that the driver of that borrowed motorcycle was just 12 years old. And according to reports he was drunk at the time.

The fact that he was allowed to drink and drive should raise some eyebrows.

We agree that in some places, especially in the far-flung areas, children have to take on the role of adults. They have jobs and responsibilities normally left to older people. For example, they manage a house or a farm, tend to animals, sell produce, among others. They also have to have skills needed to survive in some areas, skills like driving a motorcycle for example. We have nothing against this per se because later on these skills will become useful.

But for the owner of the motorcycle to allow the 12-year-old to borrow and drive his motorcycle is a major lapse of judgment.

Then there was the issue of him being drunk.

Again, we have nothing against people knocking back a few when they are making merry. And especially in some far-flung areas the drinking culture is a strong one, with the activity sealing social bonds between individuals.

But this should be done by adults who can already handle their liquor; not pre-teen children who may not yet have the constitution to resist becoming impaired by alcohol.

So how exactly was a 12-year-old not just allowed to get drunk but also allowed to drive a motorcycle? Is this happening in other areas as well?

We are asking this of the adults around this driver and his fellow 17-year-old victim. Adults like his parents, family friends, relatives, traffic enforcers, among others.

How was this allowed to happen?

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