SIX minors, who are members of a gang, tested positive of sexually transmitted infection (STI) after they were rescued by officials in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City for violating the curfew.
According to Pajo Barangay Captain Junard Chan, the minors had sexual contact with 18 other gang members, who are also believed to have STI.
Chan said the minors refused to be called gang members, saying they belong to a “fam,” or short for “family.”
Most of them are out-of-school youths, he said.
Based on their list, the barangay has 24 minors, including the six who tested positive for STI. They belong to different “fams” like Batang Sangi, Pintatonik, Tycoons Chix, Younger Fam and Bulabog.
Of the number, 10 are female. Their ages range between 13 and 17. Most of them are from Barangays Pusok, Basak, Ibo and Buaya in Lapu-Lapu City.
Some are from Pajo, while others are from Barangay Lahug in Cebu City and Cogon in Cordova.
“The 18 others whom the six reportedly had sex with have still not been found. They need to be tested,” Chan said in Cebuano.
He said that they must be prevented from passing the infection to other group members. He also wants them to undergo treatment after learning that they were self-medicating by drinking melted laundry soap.
Maria (not her real name), 13, admitted that she contracted STI a year ago. “Nada nalang ko sa barkada (I caved in to peer pressure),” she said.
Maria’s parents separated when she was young so she grew up with her grandmother.
“My family does not care about me that’s why I ran away and entered a ‘fam’,” she said in Cebuano.
When her father showed up at the barangay hall to pick her up, he assured Maria that she will be taken care of.
Chan said that before the six minors were turned over to their parents, they were given medications.
The barangay captain warned the parents that he will sue them for child abandonment if their child is rescued three times.
Chan and barangay personnel caught the six minors in public places in separate operations while implementing the City’s curfew ordinance.
He said that a person who wants to join a “fam” can choose between having sex with other members or getting the paddle as part of the initiation.
After what happened, Mayor Paz Radaza ordered the police and barangays to strictly enforce the curfew.
The mayor said she will consult the City Council for a possible ordinance that will impose a heavier penalty on parents who neglect their parental duties.