Curfew Policy: Solution or Violation?

FEU Advocate
July 27, 2016 19:24

By Maria Alanna D. Cargullo, Yedda Marie M. Arcenal, and Diana Chelsi C. Collado

Some people express their various reactions to OPLAN RODY or Rid the streets of Drinkers and Youth as part of opposing the rules and regulations.

According to one of the parents who was jailed in Quezon City last May 30, the police should not imprison the parents or guardians of apprehended minors during curfew hours. They should at least tell them beforehand that the parents are the ones accountable to their children’s violation.

In response, the authorities said that they have clearly announced the curfew policy around the city and the consequences that lie ahead. They also warned the parents that they should not allow their children to loiter in public during the curfew hours.

Upon the implementation of nationwide curfew policy for the youth under President Rodrigo Duterte, the concern of citizens about its effect is inevitable.

Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), is a group of youth who opposed and protested the nationwide curfew policy. In line with this, SPARK file a petition of certiorari and asked the Supreme Court (SC) to review and void the curfew ordinances.

SPARK spokesperson Joanne Lim said in an interview that curfew itself is questionable. “According to them [authorities], it is their way of protecting the children or protecting the youth. They say that it is because children are more prone to being a victims of crime. However, we think that by imposing this curfew they are treating the youth as criminals,” she said.

Further, Lim said that SPARK wanted the operation of curfew policy to be in a friendlier manner. She said that instead of apprehending the minors, they should bring them back to their home and it has to be in coordination with Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD), and the Civil Society Organization. “I think that it is the parent’s primary right to impose curfew on their own children to discipline them,” she said.

Lim also pointed out that the curfew policy does not take into account the changes brought by the K to 12 especially that is a tendency of multiple shifts in schools. “Not all schools are K to 12 ready, in that sense, there are only few schools in a given area which can offer it, so there are many multiple shifts of school, and we have students who will go late at night,” she said.

Imposing curfew policy according to Lim was not really necessary and should be gone. “For me, I really want the curfew to stop. But just to make it better, there must be a coordination to the CHR and other pertinent governmental agencies; making it more safe and community-based in the sense that it takes to account the situation of the community,” she said.

Meanwhile, the SC on Tuesday issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the implementation of curfew ordinances in the cities of Manila, Quezon, and Navotas. “The Court, acting on the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for a Temporary Restraining Order challenging the “Curfew Ordinances” of the three local governments…issued a TRO effective immediately and until further orders enjoining the three local government units from implementing and enforcing the ‘curfew ordinances’,” the high court stated in an article from dated July 26.

On the other hand, in the email sent to the FEU Advocate, Lim said that the issuance of TRO by the SC is an initial victory for them. “We consider this as a positive step towards ending practices which discriminate against poor children and practices which unjustly criminalize them,” she said.

“However, we do recognize that the battle is far from over. We hope that the Supreme Court, as the last bastion of freedom, democracy and justice, will side with us in the end since this is an effort to uphold children's rights and human rights,” Lim added.

- With reports from Christiaan P. Cajocson and Rustom John B. Doon