Mayor Labella seeks juvenile facility transfer

THE facility that houses children in conflict with the law (CICL) could be transferred in a mountain village, far from its neighboring jail facilities in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

Mayor Edgardo Labella is mulling over the possibility of relocating the Operation Second Chance (OSC) to Barangay Guba.

He said OSC’s location is not ideal as it is near the Cebu City Jail and Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

“Those children should not be housed near those who committed grave offenses,” he said.

Labella issued his statement following the escape of six CICLs from the OSC on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. He already directed City Attorney Rey Gealon to investigate the incident.

On Monday, Dec. 23, Labella talked with OSC director Ambrosio Ibones and the latter assured that “nothing serious had happened.”

Three CICLs returned to the OSC on Monday. Authorities have yet to locate the other three OSC residents.

Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) officer-in-charge Colonel Giovanie Maines clarified that no riot had erupted inside the facility before the six minors escaped .

Last October, 11 OSC residents escaped. Nine were back in the facility, while the remaining two have not returned, according to Ibones.

Christmas boredom

A group of journalists visited the OSC on Monday, but they were not allowed to enter the facility. They shouted questions, and some of the CICLs inside the OSC answered the queries.

They said their fellow residents who escaped got bored staying in the OSC; they wanted to celebrate Christmas with their families.

The six CICLs rushed to the gate and pushed the guards aside until they were able to get outside the facility.

One of the escapees who have returned to the OSC said he did not plan to run away. His fellow resident planned the escape and threatened to beat him up if he did not join.

Two CICLs called the OSC to fetch them. Their fellow resident was returned to the facility by his mother.

New residents

Ibones said the residents who escaped were relatively new in the OSC. One of the minors arrived last Saturday, Dec. 21, while the resident who planned the escape arrived less than a month ago.

The minors’ offenses are related to illegal drugs and possession of unlicensed firearms.

The residents living near the OSC told SunStar that they did not hear any noise from the facility.

A grandmother of a CICL, after hearing the news about the six residents, rushed to the facility to see if her grandchild was one of the escapees. She was glad that her grandchild stayed inside the OSC.

The OSC management cancelled the regular family visit on Monday due to the incident. (JJL, JCT)

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