By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
In the midst of a crackdown against loiterers or “tambays,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones urged parents as well as teachers to make sure that their children or students are inside their respective homes especially at night to ensure their safety.
Briones, in an interview after the briefing on DepEd’s underspending, noted that parents are ultimately responsible for the safety of their children. “It is a major responsibility of parents to keep the children at home after particular hours,” she said.
Teachers, on the other hand, can also inform and educate their students regarding the current efforts of the government against violators of local ordinances. “What we can do is to warn [them],” Briones said when asked to react on the strengthened initiative of the government against “tambays.” On the part of the teachers, she said that they can “tell students not to linger in the streets after particular hours.”
Meanwhile, Briones noted that students – minors in general – who might be apprehended for violating certain local ordinances, should not be detained. She noted that detaining minors is against the juvenile justice and welfare law. “We have a law [so] we do not put children in prison,” she said. “The proposals to lower the age of criminal liability have not been approved,” she added.
In the meantime, Briones advised students to carry their identification cards or IDs whenever possible so they can show it to the police or authority questioning them.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the police to take into custody teenagers who are loitering on the streets especially at night. This, he said, is for the “protection of children” especially that “drugs and other illegal stuff are everywhere.”