‘Going after the offender, not the tool’-A A +A
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
THE Cebu City Council called on police to hunt down the mastermind of the drug transaction that resulted in the arrest of a 14-year-old girl who acted as a mule.
There is hope for a better future for the girl, said Councilor Gerardo Carillo, who delivered a privilege speech yesterday.
Marian (real name withheld for being a minor) was arrested in a buy-bust last Saturday
with P5.9 million worth of shabu.
As commendable as the police bust was, Carillo, a lawyer, said that the minor was just being used as a “tool” by illegal drug traders.
“May I then pose this question: Is it correct to blame the tool of the offense and not
the offender itself?” asked Carillo.
The councilor said he did his homework and was convinced that Marian was just used to transport drugs.
Carillo earlier said there is no need to further amend the Juvenile Justice and
Welfare Act of 2006.
He believes that there is still hope for juvenile delinquents as in the case of SPO2 Egmedio Felisan Jr.
Carillo shared that 33 years ago, Felisan, then 13, was rounded up by police for snatching, highway robbery and stealing items in the port, near a slum where he grew up.
The minor was then brought to the Community Scouts Youth Guidance Center where he was “molded” and given a scholarship. He eventually graduated with a degree in information technology.
Ten years later, Felisan became a policeman, going after juvenile delinquents.
Last year, Felisan received the Most Outstanding Model PNP (Philippine National Police) Family Award handed out by the National Police Commission.
Felisan is assigned at the Cebu City Police Office’s Police Community Relation Branch.
“Felisan is the face behind the passage of Republic Act 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act), which gives a second chance to minors who have brushes with the law,” Carillo said in his speech.
“Gikan sa gigukod ngadto sa maoy manggukod (From the one being chased to the one chasing),” Carillo described Felisan.
Carillo started his speech by sharing Felisan’s triumph as an individual, as a plea not to condemn Marian.
“While I admire the police force in (apprehending Marian), but the real perpetrator or the brain of this act should likewise be pursued and prosecuted,” he also said.
After his privilege speech, the councilor presented six resolutions, all approved by the body.
As a result, the council commended Marian’s arresting team, the City Intelligence Branch, headed by Supt. Romeo Santander.
The other members commended are SPO1 Julieto Berguilla, SPO1 Julius Mabunay, PO3 Journey Fuentes, PO3 Armando Fuentes, PO3 Armando Ponce, PO2 Dennis Mosqueda and PO1 Perceval Eborias.
Felisan was also commended for being a role model to youth delinquents, while the PNP was urged to pursue Marian’s employer.
The council also asked the Council for the Protection and Welfare of Children to study how to prevent children from being used in criminal activities. It also urged the Cebu City Woman and Family Affairs Commission to implement a comprehensive program for solo parents so they will not neglect their children.
The council also asked the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to assist Marian in legal matters.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 14, 2014.