Youth group fires back after QC Vice Mayor defend curfew ordinance
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AN ANTI-CURFEW youth organization criticized Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte after she claimed in a live interview that the curfew ordinance in Quezon City has been “very successful” in reducing the crime rate.
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) spokesperson, Joanne Lim responded by saying that, “In as much that we would prefer that the Mayors-respondents to reply to our petition before the Supreme Court instead of issuing public statements, we will have to disagree with Vice Mayor Belmonte’s assessment. Her assessment is just as vague as her ordinance”.
The group filed a petition before the Supreme Court last Friday, July 22 asking the high court to issue a temporary restraining order on the curfew ordinances of the cities of Manila, Quezon and Navotas for vagueness. overbreadth and runs contrary to a national law, Republic Act no. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Act.
The three-term Vice Mayor expressed her approval for the continuity of the curfew. She asserted that the success was reflected upon the restored discipline and order at Quezon City, as the youth “were not loitering outside the streets at wee hours in the morning”. Apart from that, the parents were also “reminded … again of their responsibility over their children.”
Lim reiterated that “the ordinance violates the parents’ natural and primary right in the rearing of their children. The parents know best for their children and for them to be penalized with detention for allowing their children to go out during this period either ‘knowingly or by insufficient control’ is unjust”.
Lim wondered what was the basis or means of measurement for Belmonte to claim that the curfew was “very successful”.
“Belmonte is mistaken into believing her own propaganda that the much vaunted peace and order in Quezon City is brought about by their curfew. This can be easily debunked by the twenty-two extra-judicial killings in her city from July 1 to 21 alone,” Lim said.
“Empty streets does not translate that crimes are not happening. Belmonte must first prove that the curfew has a direct correlation to the decline of crime and if there was any decline, it must be because of the heavy-worded pronouncements of President Rody Duterte and Police chief Bato dela Rosa. To think that the Quezon City ordinance was enacted more than two years ago,” Lim maintained.
SPARK reminded the public that the youth engage in many other activities that are vital in their development, instead of assuming that a minor out on the streets late at night is engaged in criminal activities.
Lim stressed that while the curfew ordinances bear the promises of peace and order, in recent experience and actual implementation, the curfew does otherwise.
“It harbors fear among the youth. They know that they are not doing anything wrong, but they also know that the simple act of staying out late entails the label of criminals, and also the subsequent possibility of being detained and punished”.