Besides robbery, Caloocan cops in illegal raid face child-abuse raps for using minor in ops

September 18, 2017 - 6:36 PM
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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. INTERAKSYON FILE PHOTO

MANILA – The Department of Justice Task Force on Child Protection has been directed to thoroughly investigate the alleged acts of child abuse committed by 13 Caloocan City policemen who used a minor to rob a house they raided.

“Part of my directive is for the DOJ Task Force to file the necessary charges against the responsible persons who have committed any act which is tantamount to child abuse,” said Aguirre.

“Evidently, any act which inflicts physical or psychological injury, cruelty to or the neglect, sexual abuse of, or which exploits, a child is child abuse.Cases of child abuse should be punished to the full extent of the law,” Aguirre said on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza had urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the DOJ to file child abuse charges against the 13 Caloocan policemen who brought along a minor in what has turned out to be an illegal raid, because there was no search warrant.

That raid was the latest in a string of missteps by the Caloocan police that prompted NCRPO chief Oscar Abayalde to order the relief of the city’s entire 1,000-plus force.

Noting the presence of the minor in that raid, senior deputy minority leader Atienza said, “The DSWD and the DOJ are the lead agencies tasked to enforce the 1992 law protecting children. They should be the ones to file the criminal charges against the officers involved.”

Atienza also urged the DSWD to take protective custody of the child, who was caught stealing valuables during the unlawful police search.

Cops like Akyat Bahay – Atienza

“We cannot have our very own officers of the law exploiting children, just like Akyat Bahay gangs using kids to break into homes, or drug pushers taking advantage of minors as movers,” Atienza said.

The lawmaker said Republic Act 7610 expressly penalizes the use of children under 18 years of age as police guides, couriers or spies, or their use in illegal activities such as robbery, as well as their exposure to any form of danger, including threats that they might get harmed during possible hostilities.

“What the officers did in this case constitutes gross inexcusable ignorance of the law and barefaced negligence,” Atienza said, adding that under the law, they are face dismissal from service, prison terms, and perpetual disqualification from public office.

The 13 officers who barged into the home of a 51-year-old woman in Barrio Sta. Rita, Barangay 188, Tala on Sept. 7 without a search warrant are already facing a robbery charge.

They stole cash and watches worth P30,000 from the house. They also did not file a spot report after their search, which did not yield any drugs.

All 1,200 members of the Caloocan police have been sacked on account of the break-in and robbery amid prior accusations of complicity in the summary killings of teenagers Kian Lloyd delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz.