Thursday, November 14, 2002

Another case of punishing the innocent

missingpoints classic: Another case of punishing the innocent
14 November 2002

Are kids aged 17 and below the ones making our streets unsafe? Probably not. So why are they the ones being kept off the streets? One would think that in a normal world, the innocent would be rewarded and the guilty punished. But the world we live in is far from normal.

We live in Bizzaro-land (remember Superman's nemesis?) where rules are reversed and common sense flushed down the toilet. Kids are being victimized and what do we do? We ground
them and send them to their rooms. 

According to the Inquirer, the city of Manila is implementing the curfew for minors. Beginning November 14, people aged 17 and below will be banned from city streets from 10:00pm to 4:00am. According to Councilor Lou Veloso, author of the resolution, the curfew seeks to protect minors from "lawless elements."

This is a clear case of punishing the innocent.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the job of the police ina democracy is to keep the streets safe so we can enjoy our civil rights, not to curtail them to make their jobs easier. So instead of using its resources to reduce the number of potential victims in the streets, the police should try and reduce the number of criminals roaming around.

The youth are not the ones pushing drugs or holding up old ladies, it is older people. The youth are the victims yet they are the ones getting the short end of the stick. With this measure in effect, scenes of teenagers being harassed by police officers and barangay tanods cannot be fa behind.

What's more distressing is the comment of Don Bagatsing, a councilor who capitalized on his youth (aside from the Bagatsing name) to win. He said that enforcing the curfew is "a good use of a police officer's time."

You're dead wrong Don. A good use of police officers' time would be patrolling the streets and APPREHENDING CRIMINALS. Not accosting kids who happen to stay up late. If the police can muster enough men off their butts to roam around looking for youngsters, then it can get those same men to be on the lookout for ACTUAL CRIMES.

If our chosen way of lessening crime is to keep victims off the streets, how soon will it be before we come up with a solution to poverty that just involves killing all the poor people?

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