DSWD-7 releases Lumad child, denies delay

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | March 12,2021 - 05:58 PM

Lumad child, Mikmik, is finally reunited with her father after the court has ordered her release from the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). | Photo courtesy of IBP Cebu City Chapter

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) has released one of the Lumad children to her father, who was granted a writ of habeas corpus by a Cebu City court.

DSWD-7 Director Rebecca Geamala told CDN Digital in a phone interview that the sheriff has issued the order to them past noon of March 12, 2021, and they have released the child in accordance with the court order.

Geamala said there was no intention to delay the release of the child as the Save Our School (SOS) Network recently accused the DSWD-7 of doing, saying they only waited to officially receive the order.

In fact, Geamala claimed that DSWD-7 has remained true to its duty to protect the children under their custody because they will be held liable to the state if anything happens to them.

“Nirelease ko kanina because we were ordered by the court. We wanted to make sure na yung mga bata na are referred to us for temporary care and custody will be provided with such, but if they don’t want it and filed a petition in court…so we will just adhere,’ said Geamala.

The regional director said there was no delay in the release because there were necessary court procedures that were being upheld before the release of the child.

The DSWD-7 has appeared in court and has given its side on the reason why they wanted to keep the child under their custody first and complete the process including the Parental Capability Assessment Report (PCAR).

The PCAR was one of the processes that SOS has criticized saying it was one of the agency’s delaying tactics to keep the children from returning to their parents.

Geamala said this was untrue as the PCAR was a necessary assessment to know if the child would go home to a healthy family with a functional parent.Oliva: Writ of habeas corpus can be executed any day, DSWD-7 should release Lumad child

READ: Oliva: Writ of habeas corpus can be executed any day, DSWD-7 should release Lumad child Read more: https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/367277/oliva-writ-of-habeas-corpus-can-be-executed-any-day-dswd-7-should-release-lumad-child#ixzz6otFHuTiS
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

It would also guide a parent on how to help the child deal with any trauma accrued during the highly controversial police operations.

“The role of the DSWD is to provide comprehensive interventions, with this example, maraming mga bata nagsuffer on what happened. They have to be reached out, provided psychosocial support. Even medical nila, checked natin. We will provide the services best for the child,” said Geamala.

Now, with only five remaining Lumad children under their custody, Geamala said they are now coordinating with their respective regional DSWDs for their transfer.

Geamala said it will be best to continue the interventions in a place where they will be close to home.

As for the children already with their parents, all 14 of them will still be monitored for their welfare even after they have been turned over to their parents.

The director said that DSWD will continue to provide the necessary services to the children, albeit it will be done through visitations and evaluations in the home.

Geamala assured the public that DSWD puts the welfare of the children in utmost priority and will protect the children from harm even if it means keeping them away from their parents for a while until their parents are proven capable of taking care of their children. /rcg

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: court order, DSWD - 7 director Rebecca Geamala, DSWD-7, Lumad child, Lumad child released, Save Our School, Writ of Habeas Corpus

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.