MANILA, Aug. 11— Residents of Quezon City can expect to see a rise in the apprehension of youngsters who violate the city’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for minors — this time by police authorities.
Quezon City Police District director, Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, ordered police station commanders to implement the city’s “discipline hour” ordinance for minors, during the regular meeting of the QC Peace and Order Council at the Quezon City Hall on Thursday, two days after the temporary ban on its implementation was lifted by the Supreme Court (SC).
On Tuesday night, hours after the high tribunal upheld the ordinance, the city’s barangay officials reportedly began accosting minors found on the streets, while their parents were warned of the curfew’s implementation.
“Although we have yet to receive an official copy or transmittal from the Supreme Court regarding their ruling, it was announced that the Quezon City ordinance is constitutional. We interpret it to mean that there is nothing wrong in implementing the discipline hours,” City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said.
Eleazar reminded law enforcers to follow the directive of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to make sure that the conditions set by the ordinance are followed and that human rights are safeguarded and observed when implementing it.
Bautista on Tuesday instructed the city’s 142 barangays to ensure that the curfew is “judiciously enforced with full consideration of human rights”.
The constitutionality of City Ordinance 2301-2014, along with similar ordinances from Manila and Navotas, was questioned before the high court in July last year by the group, Samahan ng mga Progresibong Kabataan. The SC granted the group’s request for a temporary restraining order to bar the three cities from imposing their respective ordinances. However, during the high court’s deliberation on Tuesday, the justices ruled that only Quezon City’s ordinance is constitutional and complies with guidelines.
The ordinance — the city’s response to complaints over the increasing number of minors roaming the streets, endangering motorists or getting involved in street crimes and illegal drugs — stipulates that “the parent or guardian of the curfew violator will be penalized for allowing the minor to go out during this period, either knowingly or by insufficient control”.
It covers persons under 18 years of age, including those who are not from Quezon City but are within its territory during the curfew hours.
The measure, however, exempts minors who are in public places but are accompanied by their parents or guardians, as well as those who are enrolled in evening classes or are on their way to or from a school activity or organization where their attendance is required or indispensable.
The ordinance also exempts young people who participate in activities sponsored or permitted by the city, barangay, school or other civic or religious groups, as well as minors on board a vehicle with their parents or guardians or those engaged in authorized employment activity.
A minor found violating the curfew for the first time will be referred to the nearest barangay hall or police station. The parent or guardian will be fined PHP2,000 or will be required to render community service for 48 hours.
For the second violation, the parent or guardian will be penalized with a fine of PHP3,000 or 72 hours of community service, while third and subsequent violations carry a fine of PHP5,000 or a prison term of six months.
Repeat offenders will be turned over to the Quezon City Social Services Development Department for counseling.