MANILA, Philippines - A YouTube video of a child being bullied and beaten up by an older man has earned the ire of party-list group Akap Bata.
The video showed a man, identified as RJ Barbers Parenas, beating up and bullying a child. At one point, the man is seen taking off his shirt and using it to wrap the child's head while hitting him repeatedly.
In an interview, Akap Bata spokesperson Love Carlos urged the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to investigate the alleged abuse video, which has gone viral on Facebook and YouTube.
The spokesperson said bullies are becoming more aggressive that they are now taking videos of their abuse and posting it on the Internet.
"The government should use this as a test case against bullies. This man should go to jail for violating Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Act," she said.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman earlier said she could not stop crying from anger after seeing the video.
"Naiiyak ako sa galit kasi hindi ko matignan ulit e. Ang isang batang katulad nung nakita ko, walang lugar na dapat napapanood o ginagawa itong pananakit na ginagawa niya," she said.
She said the DSWD already has a lead on the whereabouts of the man in the video. She said the department will be coordinating with the Philippine National Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to find the man so he could be charged with child abuse.
She also urged the public to contact DSWD hotlines 951-7435, 951-7119 and 931-8101 if they have any information on the man in the video.
Soliman said even the person who took the video could face criminal charges. "Nakikita mo na ngang ginagawa yun, dapat pagbawalan mo," she said.
At least 1,000 cases of child abuse were recorded in 2010, according to DSWD records.
Carlos said President Aquino must show concern to Filipino children who were victims of child abuse and bullying just like what he did when he aired sympathy to the 20 slain school children during the massacre in Connecticut, USA.
"President Aquino must walk the talk now and start exerting more and decisive efforts to safeguard our children as the most vulnerable sector in our society," she said.