DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio vowed to step up efforts to fortify the city's anti-child abuse drive following the death of a two-year-old toddler.
Just weeks after the launch of the Kean Gabriel Hotline for child abuse, named after three-year-old Kean Gabriel Agustin who died from being beaten up and placed in a sack in the hands of his stepfather as his mother watched, not doing anything, another child abuse incident arose.
John Earl's case was similar to Agustin, except that this time, he died in the hands of his cousins, couple Ronilo and Sara Jane Alca-in, who were entrusted to take care of him while his mother works in Bahrain.
Speaking after the first regular meeting of the City Peace and Order Council Monday at Grand Men Seng Hotel, Duterte said that she had already referred the case of John Earl to the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) for financial and burial assistance.
The city mayor had also talked to the city director of the Davao City Police Office Police Senior Superintendent Michael John Dubria about the case.
“I already referred and endorsed that we have a special private prosecutor for this kind of cases, the one which we use for the Kean Gabriel case,” Duterte-Carpio said.
When asked if the information dissemination of the Kean Gabriel Hotline launched last October 28 is insufficient, the mayor said yes, thus, they now plan to intensify their campaign and reach out down to barangay level to prevent another mortality because of child abuse.
“Yes, I already discussed it with the city administrator,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The city mayor said they will come up with informative materials such as posters and leaflets to be distributed in every barangay to further strengthen their awareness advocacy and to make the public be informed that the hotline exists and urged the public to report child abuse incidents.
The public could report to the Kean Gabriel hotline for the city officials to make corresponding actions through the Quick Response Team for Children Center under CSSDO.
“They can easily report it anonymously and we would just process the information from our end so that we can prevent another child abuse case,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The report should at least include the name and address of the child.
Duterte-Carpio said they have already rescued one child who is now under the custody of CSSDO.
Duterte-Carpio added they will be submitting their accomplishment report every year during the death anniversary of Kean Gabriel.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 16, 2016.
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