SIX out of the 18 minors who may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from other minors were found by officials of Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City.
Pajo Barangay Captain Junard Chan said that five girls and a boy were rescued after they stayed out in public places during the curfew hours last Wednesday to Saturday.
The six minors will undergo an examination to confirm if they have STI or not at the City Health Office on Monday. They were among those on the list mentioned by the previous six teenagers confirmed to have STI, who were earlier rescued.
The minors with infections were asked who were the other “fam” (current slang for gang) members that they had sexual contact with. They gave at least 18 names.
Chan said that the six minors who were newly rescued admitted that they felt different and believed that they are also suffering from an infection. Their ages range from 13 to 16. They are not residents of Pajo.
“They are willing to undergo the examination because they suspected that they are also suffering from STI,” he said.
Pajo officials found out that the minors got infected after their initiation to join a “fam” involved having sex with other members, otherwise they would be hit using a paddle.
According to Chan, these minors wanted to be members of a “fam” (short for family) because they wanted to have someone who they can call a family after their parents were separated or jailed.
Chan believes that minors rescued in Pajo should undergo an examination, especially if they already showed symptoms of an infection. Parents or guardians will be called to appear before barangay officials before the test will be conducted.
“At least kahibaw dayon ta unya dali ra matreat (we will immediately know if they have an infection so they will be given treatment right away),” said Chan.
Chief Insp. Junnel Caadlawon, chief of Lapu-Lapu Police Station 3, said some of those involved in a “fam” are students but most are out of school. According to him, there are eight to 10 fams in Pajo.
“Most of them di taga-Pajo. Ilang hangout diri lang dapita (Most of them are not from Pajo. They just hang out in the area),” said Caadlawon.
Caadlawon had talked with some of the leaders and members of the different fams to advise them not to create commotion and to educate them about STI. He said their operation to rescue minors as part of implementing the curfew ordinance continues in coordination with barangay officials.
The concern on STI spreading among “fam” members will be taken up during the City Peace and Order Council meeting with Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza this week. (FMG)