FOR two consecutive days, SunStar Cebu has followed the story of the minors who contracted sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) from fellow gang members. This alarming incident is proof of the great damage done when kids are left without guidance and supervision.
Ironically, the minors called their little group a “fam,” short for family. Such a moniker is evidence of how these kids long for a sense of family, a sense of belongingness. That is human nature, we are meant to belong to a family and it is hard-wired into our identities.
But to no surprise, when asked where their parents were the minors would say they were abandoned, either by parental separation or the jailing of a parent. So instead they found identity in this “fam”, which is nothing more than a gang with ruthless initiation rites.
Taking advantage of this desire to belong, the gang members would require newbies to submit to the paddle or have sex with other members. I would guess many chose the latter. This is an exploitative form of coercion and it has resulted in their transmitting venereal diseases.
What could prevent this from happening to other kids? Real family values will prevent it. Children need to be formed and guided during these crucial years of life. That is why parents have a gravely serious mandate to teach their kids what is right. If the parents are absent or gone due to unfortunate circumstances, other family members or even the state, should take the role.
Strengthening the family is imperative, since it is the basic unit of society.--Gerard Biagan