Press Release
April 4, 2010


Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today urged law eforcement authorities in Boracay to save minors from criminal syndicates in the area as he pushed for the amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The reelectionist senator stressed that the Boracay PNP must intensify its campaign against criminal syndicates that are using minors to rob local and foreign tourists visiting the resort island. "The local police of Boracay must exert all legal efforts to curb the exploitation of children by criminal groups in their jurisdiction. This criminal act gives us a bad image to the international community and will destroy the reputation of Boracay as a safe tourist destination if not addressed as soon as possible," Bong Revilla warned as he cited the recent report of the Boracay Special Tourism Police Office (BSTPO) that the Salisi Gang syndicate are using children in their illegal activities in the area.

Based on the study undertaken by the BSTPO, most of the robbery and theft incidents recorded by the police that occurred in this resort island were perpetrated by minors, who were allegedly under the control of the Salisi Gang.

"The BSTPO already issued a reminder to tourists coming to the resort island that they should not entrust their personal belongings to children loitering in the area. But it is enough that we issued an advisory. The local police of Boracay must conduct an operation to arrest the mastermind of this modus-operandi to save the exploited kids, " the reelectionist lawmaker pointed out.

Bong Revilla reiterated his call for the amendment of Republic Act 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. He filed Senate Bill No. 2476 that is aimed to address different issues and concerns confronted by different agencies in implementing the said law.

Among his proposed amendments is to have a provision regarding the exploitation of children for the commission of crimes. Under the provision, any person who, in the commission of a crime, makes use, takes advantage of, or profited from the use of children, shall be imposed the penalty prescribed by law for the crime committed in its maximum period.

"We must uphold the children's right to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of their sense of dignity and worth, whether they are in conflict with the law or not. If we will be fortunate to be reelected in the Senate, we will push again the passage of this bill," Bong Revilla added.

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