Espinoza: Liquor ban for minors

THERE are two ways to describe the mother who sexually exploited her three-year-old son. One, she is lazy. Two, she is mentally sick.

This case may not have been the first in Lapu-Lapu City or in the country. This could have happened already in the past, only that nobody noticed it until this mother posted their video in the net.

With the advent of the internet and the use of high-end cellphones, many people have become lazy. There were other ways for this mother to earn a decent living instead of an objectionable one that in the end exposes her to a crime and her innocent child to derision. Using herself and her son to earn a living using cyber technology is not only unacceptable because many of us are Catholics but it’s also a crime.

This mother doesn’t deserve to have custody of her child. A mother takes care of her child at all costs. Being destitute is not a reason for her to do condemnable acts. I wish this child would not be haunted by this horrible experience once he is grown up.

Congratulations to the police for a job well done. But we still look forward to more apprehensions of this kind from them.

•••

Bills in Congress seeking to prohibit the sale of alcohol to minors and which penalize establishments doing it are yet to be passed What caused the delay? Only Congress knows.

In the Lower House, Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo sponsored House Bill No. 2661 titled “An Act Prohibiting the Access of Minors to Alcohol and Penalizing Establishments that Furnish Alcohol to Minors.” Sen. Bong Revilla sponsored a similar measure in the Senate. The bills allow 18-year-old teens to drink alcoholic beverages. Those below 18 years old are not.

Companies that sell alcoholic beverages must have lobbied in Congress so the bills won’t be acted upon by legislators.

In the explanatory note, the bills attribute the cases of violence, sexual and drug abuse and suicide to drunkenness and alcohol intoxication. Thus they seek to guarantee that the youth would carry out their responsibility in nation building, bar minors from drinking alcohol, penalize those who allow them access to alcohol and punish establishments that sell alcohol to minors.

The six minors who sexually abused an 18-year-old girl and the establishment in Mandaue City that sold the liquor to them could have been charged with this law had it been passed. The case has irked Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing. He threatened to close establishments found selling alcohol or alcoholic beverages to minors.

Quisumbing will ask the city council to pass an ordinance barring establishments from selling alcoholic beverages to minors. Maybe, the city council can use provisions of the pending bills as template for the ordinance.

The House and Senate bills impose a penalty of community service for the erring minor and he/she will be committed to the care of his/her father or mother, or committed to a rehab center. The driver’s license of a person that a minor may use in buying the alcohol will be suspended.

Establishments that sell liquors to minors will be fined P10,000 for the first offense, P20,000 for the second offense and for the third offense, revocation of the establishment’s license to sell alcoholic drinks.

In a situation wherein crimes are committed by minors while under the influence of liquor, it’s about time to regulate, if not prohibit, the sale of alcoholic drinks to minors. It’s about time Congress passes the bills. It’s long overdue.
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