Press Release
November 20, 2019


Saniño Butucan, Danica May Garcia, Francisco Manosca, Althea Fhem Barbon, Reynaldo de Guzman, Carl Arnaiz, Kian delos Santos and Myka Ulpina. These are the children who were killed in the name of Duterte's violent "war on drugs"; they are innocent children now denied of their right to live, deprived of the opportunity to dream and to contribute in our society.

Today, as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as we celebrate the Universal Children's Day, let us remember these children, and pray for their families who up to now are seeking justice for their brutal deaths.

Even as we are one of the signatories of this important instrument, the Philippines is witnessed by the rest of the world how its children are abused, discriminated and worse, killed.

Here and around the world, children are among the most vulnerable in society. Many of them, especially from the poor families, are forced to be instruments in unlawful activities. Some of them are coerced to work at a young age while others have become orphans of the victims of extrajudicial killings in our country.

Violence and discrimination against our children must stop. From the very beginning, I have strongly called out the murderous Duterte regime to stop abuses in its war on drugs, to stop considering the death of children as mere "collateral damage". Hindi na talaga sila nakonsensya. Hindi na sila kinilabutan sa bawat pinaslang na bata na pinagkaitan nila ng buhay at kinabukasan.

In the Senate, our work continues in providing protection and promoting the rights and welfare of our children. I filed Senate Bill No. 622 to increase the age of sexual consent from the current 12 to 18 years old to protect minors against rape and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. I have also pushed for Senate Resolution No. 201, directing the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to conduct an inquiry on the continued proliferation and rising incidence of child cybersex abuse in the country.

With these legislative measures, we must protect children from predators and those who take advantage of their vulnerability. We want our children to be protected from violence, exploitation and discrimination.

Together, we must strengthen our efforts to genuinely promote our children's rights, address their needs, and listen more to their voices. Let us fulfill our shared obligation to pass to our children a society built on the foundations of justice, peace and respect for human rights and dignity.


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

20 November 2019

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