Student Organization hits Oplan Rody

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, DILIMAN, Q.C.—Hinting that it is “a taste of the iron fist,” a student organization here has claimed as counter-productive and unjust the curfew imposed on Metro Manila municipalities, where a substantial number of minors are “captured” or detained and subjected to unnecessary inconveniences and punishments like “push-ups.”

While President-elect Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has yet to formally assume office, “the Philippine National Police is now enforcing these operations under the name Oplan “Rid the streets of Drinkers and Youth” or Oplan Rody,” according to Joanne Rose S. Lim of Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan of the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

The curfew which is imposed in Las Pinas, Manila, Quezon City, among others, runs from 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM. Local ordinances have been passed defining the scope and penalties for violators.

Lim warned that “if the implementation of these ordinances are not properly regulated, too much power may be given to the police and this can be taken advantage of if put in the wrong hands.”

In her Letter to the Editor of Northbound Philippines News Online, Lim also deplored that mainstream media failed “to tackle or promote discussion regarding the impact of these ordinances on the youth, especially for those taking the night shifts for school working students and the poor.”

With respect to the poor, Lim said that they are more prone to oppression in the war against criminality, which is the main focus of the incoming Duterte administration.

“Unemployment among the uneducated youth has been found to lead to a propensity for committing criminal offenses such as theft and drug-related offenses,” she said in her letter. “Property crimes are largely correlated to poverty as these are found to to be the remaining avenues for the people to get resources required to continue with their lives, especially with the high cost of living due to the high pricen of commodities and insufficiency of basic social services.”

Lim urged the citizenry to be more vigilant as from all indications. “it appears that a police state is what awaits the country under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who has risen to power on a platform of anti-criminality.” –Guerrero Coloma/