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Timesman : “No backpack” policy

We wrote in this corner week ago asking lawmakers to include parents of children that committed crimes to be accountable for their children’s criminal acts after both chambers approved an amendment of Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
As if some lawmakers have read it, a joint Senate panel recommended harsher penalties for parents of children in conflict with the law. The parents of the juveniles under the measure would be punishable with reclusion perpetua if the crime committed is punishable by imprisonment of more than six years, and reclusion temporal if the crime is punishable by six years or less.
The said measure added, “The parents should be primarily liable for civil damages arising out of the actions of the child in conflict with the law, unless they proved they were exercising supervision over the child and exerted effort to prevent the child for committing another offense.”
Those who signed in favor of the report were Senators. Richard Gordon, Loren Legarda, Cynthia Villar, Panfilo Lacson, JV Ejercito, Manny Pacquiao, Francis Escudero, Joel Villanueva, Gregorio Honasan, Ralph Recto and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Congratulations! Majority of them will be assured in my list of reelectionist candidates to be voted this election.
The committee members who did not sign were Senate President Tito Sotto III and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Nancy Binay, Francis Pangilinan, Sherwin Gatchalian, Grace Poe, Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV and Franklin Drilon.
I’m sorry. While many in the list were already my sure candidates, I have second thoughts now of voting for them.


The “No backpack” policy of the local governance in churches and other places of worship in the city is maybe a bright idea against threat of terrorism in the light of bombing incidents in Mindanao last week where twin bombs exploded inside Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, followed by another grenade explosion in a Mosque in Zamboanga City. Both bombings claimed lives and injured churchgoers.
While the backpack rule was even endorsed by the church and the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) I still want to know why the policy singled out the house of God when schools, shopping malls, theatres, public markets, and plazas are also vulnerable places to target. Maybe, these public establishments have employed security personnel to protect their respective employers.
My only worry is that with the no backpack policy people or even the devotees may skip entering the church for fear of their lives because of the warning. While others who will bring backpack for extra load – food, shirts, and other burloloys may also be discouraged from going inside the church.
Public Safety and Security Command Center head Benito de Leon said his office has been instructed by the city mayor that churchgoers should no longer bring backpacks inside places of worships “to avoid incidents wherein some malicious individuals could put in explosive devices in backpacks, the same scheme(s) that happened in Jolo,” and in Zamboanga City.
With or without backpacks, terrorists can still do their dirty intention since the instruction covers only inside the church. The explosive may still be placed outside or lobbed from a distance as what happened on April 19, 1991 when two grenades were lobbed at San Pedro Cathedral from the outside where 17 churchgoers were killed and 157 wounded. Then on Dec. 28, 1993, also in San Pedro Cathedral at 6 p.m., a Sunday, three grenades were lobbed inside the crowded church killing six people and wounding more than a hundred churchgoers.
I repeat there is nothing wrong with the no backpack policy but maybe the coverage should not only be limited inside the church but 100 meters away from the church perimeters with some policemen also posted.
Even a determined criminal will have second thoughts on his bad intention if policemen are visible.


I missed a number of Chinese buddies of yesteryears every time Chinese New Year and Double 10 (Chinese Independence Day on October 10) are being celebrated in the city.
The late “Mr. Young” of Kusina Dabaw in San Pedro Street was our usual host to a sumptuous Chinese dinner when the two important occasions came.
My friends Siusing and Mike Huang, brothers of my good friend Joe Huang, also never miss hosting lavish reception at Davao Shanghai Restaurant for the Shanghai boys during that time.
Dr. Pedro “Jun” Tan of the wealthy Villa Abrille clan is not also to be forgotten. He too was generous and friends to everyone, and there are lots of them.
Today, these two important events of the Chinese community are now just memories of my life with them.
Kung Hei Fat Choy!


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