Ellah Joy’s pa supports launch of Child Protect Movement

Posted on August 28, 2011

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“Don’t forget Ellah Joy.”

This is the call of Renato Pique, the father of 6-year-old Ellah Joy Pique who was abducted and killed last Feb. 8.

He made his appeal during yesterday’s launching of the Child Protect Movement organized by the Children’s Legal Bureau.

Pique said that his greatest fear was that the public would forget about the crime and the culprits would not be brought to justice.

“If people forget Ellah, what would happen to her case? We won’t stop seeking for justice,” Pique told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano.

Pique was one of the parents who attended yesterday’s campaign kickoff.

The movement aims to prevent and stop child exploitation through the empowerment of communities and children.

The Child Protect Movement also aims to unite various sectors that support children’s rights and protection.

“We would not act on their safety only when something bad already happens,” he said.

Lawyer Joan Dymphna Saniel-Amit, Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) executive director, said lack of awareness among parents leads to the eventual abuse of their children.

Children also need to be taught what practices are right and wrong, so they will be aware if they are violated.

“They need to understand and the communities should be able to identify these abuses,” said Amit.

She said organizers will conduct school- and community-based programs together with local government units and agencies to lay out priority plans and programs.

CLB cited the rising cases of children abused and exploited in Cebu like the kidnapping and murder of Ella Joy Pique, the child trafficking and cyber pornography cases in Cordova town, Naga and Bohol.

Amit said that spanking as a form of discipline is also a violation of children’s rights.

Since spanking is a traditional form of disciplining children, she said parents need to be told this is still a violent method and would do more harm than good.

She said the group would push for the passage of the Anti-Corporal House Bill.

Yesterday’s kickoff began with a walk called “the Walk a Mile, Protect a Child” from Fuente Osmeña Circle to Cebu City Hall.

Activities ahead include photo exhibits and a concert in October to celebrate Children’s Month. /By Candeze R. Mongaya, Reporter