Did you observe the noticeable increase in police presence in and around the city over the weekend due to the recent declaration of a “State of Lawlessness” across the nation?
This was implemented by the President to combat the acts of terrorism that gripped the city of Davao last Friday. A “State of Lawlessness” is supposed to be the mildest of the Commander–In-Chief’s powers. Following a State of Lawlessness is the suspension of Habeas Corpus- where people can be arrested without trial. And the last and most severe is Martial Law.
What does this mean for our kids?
Martial law under the Marcos regime exists to our children as an abstract concept, as something found in school textbooks, or as something that happened in the past. Many of us today, most likely only caught its tail end or were too young to feel the strains of Martial Law. It was most likely our parents who experienced it first hand.
As parents, it is our job to be vigilant with the welfare of our children as tensions in our country seem to be rising.
Here are some guidelines to help us cope with the current state of the nation and ensure the safety of our families:
1. Observe all existing traffic laws: You should be doing this anyway!
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Don’t use your phone while driving.
2. Before approaching a PNP Checkpoint
- If possible, inform someone you are approaching a checkpoint. Tell your yaya to call you if this is possible.
- Turn on your vehicles ‘interior light’
- Dim your headlights.
- Reduce the volume or turn off the radio if this applies.
- Inform everyone in the car that you are coming to a checkpoint.
3. During a checkpoint
- If you are driving, keep your hands on the wheel. If not, tell the driver to keep their hands on the wheel.
- Don’t make any sudden movements, particularly while undoing your seat belt. This could be mistaken for ‘reaching for a weapon’.
- Cooperate and be patient. Remember that any times, the personnel stationed at checkpoints are some of the youngest and least experienced.
- When asked a question, answer in a respectful way. This will also teach our children to respect authority.
- After the checkpoint, don’t speed up.
4. Speak to your drivers and yayas about this issue. If you are not in the car with your children, they are in the hands of your house help. They too need to follow the rules and be respectful to the police. The safety of your children depends on it.
5. Set up a checkpoint system of your own: Have your kids tell you their plans for when they go out. Tell your kids to inform you when they move from place to place. Remind them that this is not the time to make takas or to hide things from you and that this is about their safety.
6. If your kids are doing after school activities with the yaya, have her text or call you when they leave and when they arrive at their activities.
Check out the checkpoint guidelines issued by the Philippine National Police: