MANILA - Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Wednesday urged the country's top cop to focus on going after syndicates instead of children being used in crimes.
This after Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa expressed support for a nationwide curfew for minors to prevent syndicates from using children in crimes.
In a statement, Pangilinan, author of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, said it appears that anti-crime campaigns of the police seemed focused on children instead of syndicates abusing the youth.
"Why are police anti-crime efforts almost always focused on children? Should not PNP chief Bato focus on the syndicates exploiting children? It is a crime to use children, especially for crime, just as it is a crime for parents to neglect their children," he said.
"Going after the children instead of the syndicates is condoning poor and sloppy police work," he added.
Dela Rosa on Monday also expressed dismay over Pangilinan's law, saying it has long been “the source of frustration for the PNP.”
The said law provides that minors who commit crimes shall be taken under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) instead of being jailed.
"Are children the only ones that the police can go after and punish while syndicates go scot-free?" Pangilinan said.