The Commission on Human Rights lamented how police treated a 13-year-old boy who was arrested for allegedly violating quarantine rules in Malabon City on Sept. 26.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia lamented how the minor was arrested, penalized, and had his mugshot taken for not wearing a mask when he was on his way home from a neighbor.
Worse, De Guia said, the police allegedly joked to the minor that “he now has a profile picture for his Facebook account,” distressing him.
She said it was “distressing” how the arrest happened despite the prohibition on the arrests of minors as stated in the joint memorandum circular entitled “Reiteration of Protocols on Reaching out to Children, including those in Street Situations, in need of Special Protection, Children at Risk, and Children in Conflict with the Law During the Enhanced Community Quarantine” issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Council on the Welfare of Children (CWC).
“Minors who are guilty of violating quarantine rules must be turned over to their parents, guardians, and or a social worker so that proper interventions, guidance, and or advice are given to them,” stressed De Guia.
The CHR welcomed the reminder made by Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to the police and barangay law enforcers that they should not penalize minors for quarantine violations.
The CHR noted the apology made by the barangay chairman for the done to the minor.
“However, proper sanction and or disciplinary actions must still be pursued to prevent the same from happening again,” said De Guia.