Duterte vetoes measure prohibiting corporal punishment for children

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed a proposed measure aimed at promoting peace and non-violent discipline by prohibiting parents from employing corporal punishment on children.Executive Salvador Medialdea

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed a proposed measure aimed at promoting peace and non-violent discipline by prohibiting parents from employing corporal punishment on children.

Executive Salvador Medialdea confirmed this in an interview with Palace reporters on Thursday, February 28.

Medialdea said the Chief Executive opposed the proposal to prohibit all forms of corporal punishment for children.

"May personal stand siya. Ayaw ni Presidente. Reading ko lang sa kanya (He has a stand. The President does not like it. That's my reading)," he said.

A measure from Congress that was submitted to Duterte seeks ban of any form of punishment for children using physical force and intended to cause pain or discomfort, or any nonphysical act that causes a child to feel belittled, denigrated, threatened, or ridiculed.

In a statement, former special assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go said Duterte has "valid reasons" for vetoing the proposed law that intends to protect children from physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment.

“Kilala ko po si Pangulong Duterte bilang mapagmahal na ama at hindi niya gustong makaranas ng anumang klase ng parusa ang mga bata na makakasama sa kanila,” Go said.

(I know President Duterte as a loving father and he does not want any children to experience any forms of punishment that will harm them.)

“Sinasaklaw na ng bill na ito lahat ng klase ng corporal punishment at tinatanggal ang karapatan ang mga magulang na gamitin ito kung sa palagay nila ay nararapat sa pagdisiplina sa kanilang mga anak. Hindi naman po dapat ganun, kaya tama lamang ang ginawa ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go said.

(This bill covers all kinds of corporal punishment and strips parents of their right to discipline their children on their own way. It should not be that way that's why President Duterte did the right thing.)

Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states that “the natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government.”

Duterte, in his veto message, is aware of the growing trends in Western nations that see all forms of corporal punishment as an "outdated form of disciplining children," Go noted.

The President, however, rejected such trend in favor of a more balanced and nuanced approach, which is both protective of the child but recognizing the right of parents who believe in the merits of corporeal punishment properly administered, his former aide said.

"Lahat po tayo ay gustong lumaki ng matino ang ating mga anak. Pero kung paaano ito gagawin ay karapatan at tungkulin ng mga magulang at hindi po naman dapat basta-basta pakialaman ng gobyerno,” Go said.

(We all want to raise our children well. But it is the parents' right and duty to discipline them and the government should not interfere.) (SunStar Philippines)

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