Minors in riots trigger stiffer curfew enforcement

Local authorities are on strict enforcement of the curfew for minors around the city, particularly in night spots, following the involvement of several underaged persons in violent incidents. (Francis Allan Angelo photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

The Iloilo City government and the local police again vowed to strictly enforce the ordinance on curfew for minors (those below 18 years old) following riots involving the latter.

In a Facebook post, Mayor Jerry Treñas announced that the Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) “will be conducting saturation drives starting tomorrow (Oct. 17) in all districts to ensure compliance with our curfew for minors ordinance.”

Further, “barangays, where the unfortunate incident happened, have been instructed to have their tanods patrol the area to ensure compliance to all ordinances including the curfew for minors ordinance.”

The recent riot involving minors happened shortly after midnight of Oct. 15 at Rizal Pala-Pala Zone 1, City Proper district.

The incident claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy who was shot after a melee between his group and around 15 other youngsters, mostly minors.

Major Chen Tañagras, ICPO Women and Children’s Protection Desk, said they would conduct rekoridas or public announcements all over the city to remind the community of the curfew for minors.

Compared to the previous years, Tañagras said there has been an increase in the number of minors caught violating the curfew ordinance.

The curfew for minors is enforced through Regulation Ordinance No 2022-279, which amended Section 1 (2) of Regulation Ordinance No. 2011-676 in relation to Section 1 of Regulation Ordinance No. 2022-120 on the curfew time for minors to be regulated from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Several offices joined Tuesday’s rekoridas and saturation drives.

These include the Iloilo CSWDO, ICPO-WCPD, Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), Task Force on Street Children, Task Force on Moral and Values Formation., Task Force on Internet and Gaming Center Anti-Piracy and Pornography (IGCAPP)‎‏, Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Iloilo City.

But more than these offices and the local police, Tañagras said they need to be complemented by local officials and barangay tanods (local watchmen).

“Our policemen have been active in doing mobile patrols. But these minors easily hide themselves when they see police vehicles. The ones who could better enforce the curfew are tanod members who are doing foot patrols,” she said.

By doing the rekorida, Tañagras said the public will be aware of the ordinance.

In doing police patrols, she said that they would be giving more attention to areas where there were previous incidents of melees involving minors.