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Negligent parents of ‘rugby boys’ may be jailed, says Pelare

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 13,2024 - 05:53 PM

Negligent parents of 'rugby boys' may be jailed, says Pelare

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, the spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7). | CDN Digital photo / Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Sanctions await parents of ‘rugby boys’ if proven that they neglected their children.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that neglect is punishable under the Republic Act No. 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.”

Under law, violators may face six years and one day up to 12 years of imprisonment.

“If there is proof that the parents are neglectful or there was intention on the part of the parents nga ipaapil ang ilang children into illegal drugs, they can be liable for violation of Republic Act 7610 or Child Abuse,” Pelare said.

READ: ‘Rugby Boys’ in Cebu City: Councilor eyes ordinance against them, negligent parents

“But this should be investigated well para ang atoang intervention or ang atoang stratehiya, appropriate gyud and long-lasting kay this has been a prevalent problem, not only in Cebu City but in other areas,” he added.

Rugby-sniffing kids

Pelare admitted that going after ‘rugby boys’ was very challenging because they cannot be sent to jail.

Despite the unrelenting efforts of law enforcers, Pelare said that ‘rugby boys’ continue to proliferate, not just on Cebu City streets but also in other parts of the country.

READ: ‘Libod-suroy’ minors in Cebu City alarm police

Moreover, existing laws state that children, who are under 15-years-old, cannot be arrested. Instead, they are to be rescued and sent to intervention centers for rehabilitation together with their parents.

But sanctions may be imposed on negligent parents, he said.

Viral video

In fact, the Women and Children’s Protection Desk of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) was already tasked to look into a viral video showing kids who were sniffing what appears to be rugby placed in a plastic bag as they were taking a PUJ ride from uptown Cebu City to the downtown area last April 9.

READ: Proliferation of rugby-sniffing kids still a concern in Cebu City this pandemic

Moreover, Pelare said they will continue to work with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to bring more children away from the streets and give them a better future.

“We will continuously work with DSWD and of course, the parents of these children para we can respond appropriately,” he said.

Cause for alarm

Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, CCPO’s Deputy Director for Operations, said in an earlier interview that the proliferation of ‘rugby boys’ on city streets is now a cause for alarm.

READ: Rugby-sniffing street kid now a college grad

For his part, Pelare said that PRO-7 is grateful to netizens who shared footage of ‘rugby boys’ to local authorities, which helped in their rescue operations.

“We are very thankful nga naay mga citizens or netizens nga nagpa-abot sa gobyerno ani nga problema,” he said.

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TAGS: Pelare, Police Regional Office (PRO-7), rugby boys

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