CEBU CITY, Philippines — Carcar City Police are planning to implement a program they hope can tackle crimes committed by minors or children in the city.
Police Lt Col Ardioleto Cabagnot, Carcar City Police Station Chief, said they plan to implement an ‘Adopt a Child’ program for children in conflict with the law, particularly those linked to thefts and flights.
Cabagnot said this after the arrest of an 18-year-old man for robbing a city establishment on July 22, and the rescue of his two underage cohorts.
Cabagnot said the arrested suspect, John Manuel Caballes of Barangay Poblacion 1 that city, broke into establishments and fled with P17,000 in cash.
Caballes was taken with his minor cohorts, two boys —13 and 16 years old —, who were rescued.
The story of the arrested suspect
Carcar’s police chief came up with the plan to implement this program after hearing the reason Caballes got into the theft – that he was doing it to survive, to buy food and to feed his vices of smoking, sniffing rugby and playing computer games.
Cabagnot also learned that Caballes did this when he was still a minor and after his father died and his mother left him years ago.
He said he was then left in the care of his grandmother and that without really proper care and guidance he sometimes slept rough.
There he ended up meeting a certain Tommy, who taught him how to steal and steal to get money to feed himself and his vices.
Cabagnot said that this certain Tommy was already in prison.
The arrested suspect Caballes also said he wanted to go to school but was not baptized and did not have a birth certificate.
“Ganahan ko moskwela pero wa ko gipaskwela sa akoang mama kay wala ko mabunyagi. Gipaskwela na ta kos taga amoa pero pangitaan man og birth…[Manghilabot ko] kay wala can pangkaon, computer usahay duwa, [bisyo nako] sigarilyo ug rugby,” Caballes said.
(I really wanted to go to school but my mother didn’t enroll me because I wasn’t baptized (and didn’t have a birth certificate). Someone in our neighborhood even tried to s take care of my schooling but the school needed a birth certificate [and I don’t have any] … [I went into stealing] because I don’t have money for my food, sometimes to play on the computer [my vice]smoking and rugby.)
Adopt a child program
With that, Cabagnot said he had come up with a plan to have an “Adopt a Child” program to help children in a similar situation in Caballes.
Cabagnot said he hopes this planned program will eventually minimize crimes involving minors – crimes like theft and burglary of homes, committed by such children in the city.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Cabagnot said.
“Adopt ba ug kung magtinarong. Pareha ani, kahibalo mani siya ani kung kinsay mga tirador. So dali ra namo mafollow-up. At the same time, og positive ang output ani, makeenganyo in your ubang kauban nga muundang ug musuport sa program in pagahimuon sa pulis o gobyerno. In this sense, maximize gyud gamay ang lungkab-lungkab diri,” Cabagnot said.
(We’ll adopt it if he or she would change for the better. Like this, it knows who those would be stealing in the area. So we can quickly track those people, at the same time, if the output is positive on this program, then it can encourage those other children to stop their [doing these crimes] and support the program that the police and the government planned to implement. In this sense, we can minimize thefts and burglaries here.)
Cabagnot said the program, however, was still in the planning stages and would include adopting children in conflict with the law, possibly letting them stay at the police station if he didn’t. house, give them allowance, food and make them go to school.
The police chief said they would coordinate with the city government and the city’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on the plan.
Calling establishment owners
Meanwhile, Cabagnot encouraged establishment owners not to leave valuables or cash inside their establishments, especially as arrested suspect Caballes admitted to breaking into and stealing establishments in Barili, Alcantara, Dumanjug and Bato in Oslob.
Caballes also told Cabagnot that they usually target stalls and steal money from these establishments.
He said they would just wait for the owners to close their stalls and use the time to commit the crime.
Minors are now responsible for most thefts and burglaries in Carcar City
20 children in conflict with the law escape from Cebu City juvenile center
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