MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights and the National Youth Commission blasted the local government of Tanauan City for making a teenager do the “walk of shame,” which parades alleged petty criminals and drug suspects in public with signs proclaiming their supposed offenses.
The humiliation campaign started by Mayor Antonio Halili caught attention in May last year when several alleged pushers were paraded through the Batangas city in a parody of the annual Flores de Mayo festival. But the mayor defended the practice, insisting it deterred would-be criminals.
On Tuesday, the Tanauan local government posted a video of the 17-year old, his face blurred, hands cuffed, and wearing a sign saying “Ako’y magnanakaw wag tularan (I am a thief do not imitate me).”
“We urge the local government of Tanauan to ensure that the rights of suspected offenders are upheld considering their right to be presumed innocent and their right to due process,” CHR spokesperson Jackie de Guia said.
In a separate statement, Perci Cendaña, chair of the NYC’s Committee on Social Inclusion and Equity, said: “What they made the boy do is not only inhumane, it is also illegal as it is a violation of the fundamental rights of young people and tantamount to abuse.”
Cendaña described the incident as “a grave injustice (a)specially because the victim was a minor,” adding it violated not only the Constitution but also Republic Act 9344, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, and RA 9745, or the Anti-Torture Act.
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