Crimes Against Childhood
What’s with crime against children recently? It seems that abduction and corruption have got kids in sight.
There have been reports of a foiled abduction attempt of two minors by three identified men in a specified barangay in Pili, Camarines Sur. Give it up for youthful resolve which fueled the children’s struggle to escape, and the quick response of a concerned motorist and the cooperation of authorities that led to the interception of the perpetrators’ vehicle. (Don’t tell me it’s a white van again.) Was it not just a few weeks ago that a somewhat similar event occurred in Sipocot? Police were able to arrest a female member of white van waywards who tried to snatch a Grade 3 pupil. It was an interesting development as she would provide information on this madness that has been going on. But on some twisted turn of events, the woman has reportedly been acting mute or dumb or mentally ill in efforts of escaping interrogation. You have to give it up to ingenuity just to save one’s skin; or maybe she’s just not saving herself. There could be the probability of threat on her family of her personal well-being at the drop of her confession. I just wonder how long she could keep this charade going. This succession of events would uncover perhaps forgotten reports of a case of a kidnapped child at a certain school in Concepcion Pequeña, Naga City, last January just this year. Remarkably, the kid was set free after an hour; after allegedly according to the child, overhearing the abductors commenting on his/her being unhealthy. (Now, who ever said not eating your vegetables was not good for a child?). Okay, so that’s one in Pili just around a week ago; one in Sipocot a couple of weeks ago, and one in Naga a couple of weeks before that. Is there going to be another one two weeks from now? Is Camarines Sur a harvest area for child traffic? A hotbed for child abduction? Just a thought, could there be other similar events in which the attempt has been successful? Are we just receiving the representative occurrences which have happy endings? I hope not.
On the theme of children, around a week ago, there were talks about this youtube challenge that instigate young children to commit destructive acts in increasing gravity which allegedly culminates in suicide. I have been one for young children’s exposure to technology and the Internet. Whatever argument or effort purists may initiate on the promotion of or reversion to physical sports (which I think will still carry on.), the world will be electronic, and it will be highly beneficial for children to develop proficiency on modern technology at an early age. I just think that if they start to be adept at a younger age, the more skilled they would be in adulthood. (I remember the pity I felt for a couple of college freshmen I chanced upon in an Internet cafe, who were obviously unfamiliar with the utilization of the computer for their homework and were desperately asking assistance from the staff.) But reports of youtube characters telling children to damage property and eventually commit suicide are revoltingly alarming.
However, “National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar earlier said people should downplay the online game as there is no evidence that it actually exists.” (https://www.philstar.com) “Based on unverified testimonies, the so-called Momo challenge features the image of “Momo” appearing on platforms such as WhatsApp and YouTube. It allegedly compels children to engage in dangerous tasks such as taking pills and even killing themselves.” “But according to an article from The Atlantic, the “Momo challenge” is a “recurring viral hoax.” (https://www.philstar.com) According to Youtube itself, “After much review, we’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are clearly against our policies, the Momo challenge included. Despite press reports of this challenge surfacing, we haven’t had any recent links flagged”. (https://www.yugatech.com)
Now, this reminds me of the time, two years ago, when I was listening to a local police officer dismissing the cases of child abduction as a hoax; even citing the absence of verified reports. I remember the official statements released by the local police office, by the local government unit on the deficiency of veracity of reports of kidnappers driving a van snatching children. I was even persuaded, trusting on the intellect of law enforcement on the science in their trade. I mean they must know what they were doing, right? Now, take a look at the past weeks. Now, here comes another hoax.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10