The Children of the garbage pit.

The Children of the garbage pit.
Fr.Shay Cullen
22 May 2015

Cebu, Philippines.

The little girl and her friend were sleeping on the pavement along
the street in Fuente district ,Cebu in front of a 7/11 that
Easter Sunday night 5 April 2015. They had been begging for food
in a city of growing wealth and prosperity. But street children see
none of it, they are the children of the garbage, throwaway children
that live begging or scavenging on the streets or in the garbage dump.

That sacred Sunday night when Christians were celebrating the
resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, Chastity Mirabilis , a 11 year old
street child and her friend ,11 year old (call her Miriam) were
starting their passion and “crucifixion”.

As Miriam later described it, a policeman, as yet unnamed from
Station 2 Fuente Osmena under the command of Chief Inspector Wildemar
Tiu.That policeman came up to the sleeping children kicked Chastity
in face and dragged her and Miriam to a police van. It is likely he
was not alone.

There was no justification for this whatsoever and the children were
brought to the Fuente police station and allegedly beaten up in the
present of several police men . Chastity was, according to the
testimony of Miriam, tortured with electricity as reported by the
city social workers after interviewing Miriam.

The children were so battered that they could hardly walk. The next
day they were allegedly kicked out of the police station but chastity
could not stand up and walk and Miriam carried her on her back. No
medical help was given. The question is were they sexually abused
investigators have released a report or evidence to rule it out.

Miriam carried chastity to the hovel where Chastity’s handicapped
mother was, later that day Chastity Mirabilis died from her injuries.
The next day 6 April, three more children were picked up brought to
the same police station under the watch of Chief Inspector Tiu and
were allegedly subjected to verbal and psychological abuse. The
police shaved off their hair. The female officer on duty did nothing
to help the children. Later she called it necessary for the hygiene
and grooming of the children.

This is a gross humiliation and criminalization of children and
psychological abuse. The police should be fired for gross ignorance
of the law and rights of the child and charged with violation of RA
7610 the child protection law. The three children were detained in a
prison cell with male adult prisoners. They were not fed proper food.
It is not known if they were victims of sexual abuse in the police
station or if the prisoners paid the police for sex as sometime

The criminalization of street children is a ploy to de-humanize them
and justify harsh inhuman treatment. A national broad sheet editorial
(Not The Manila Times) recently commented on street children and
supported a bill in congress to help them into dignified shelters and
care centers however at the same time it branded them as criminals.
This conditions the minds of the public to treat them as a danger to
society and worthless and make the children enemies of society in
need of punishment.

What happened in Cebu is not an isolated incident .It happens
frequently and children are shot and stabbed to death as I have
earlier reported. It is barbaric and outrageous. There is no public
outcry in Cebu over this horrific crime. Silence is a form of consent
and the silence brings shame on all Cebuano people. They should stand
up and take a stand for children’s rights.

NBI 7 assistant director Augusto Isidero admitted that the child
Miriam was able to identify the policemen from photographs who beat
them and physically abused them. He told me over the phone that
murder charges of murder and child abuse will be filed against the
policemen. These heartless cruel police bring disgrace in the PNP and
must be held accountable.

When news of the death of Chastity became news allegedly Chief
Inspector Wildemar Tiu immediately took a flight to the United
States. He must have a green card, or multiple reentry visa. Getting
a tourist visa to the United States is a long procedure. It seems he
fled the scene of a crime in his own police station.

Will justice ever be done? Will the state really prosecute police
for this crime of alleged murder and child abuse? They will likely
favor the cruel corrupt police over what they have until now
considered a worthless street child. They are considered less than
human, so worthless they allow them to sleep on the streets and
scavenge in their garbage dumps. They allow it because they see the
children as worthless garbage.

For the authorities Chastity and countless more are worthless street
children. If not so why are then not in clean homes with good food
and education as the children of the nation with equal right under
the constitution. The politicians who create such inequality and
poverty are equally guilty of causing the suffering of the children.

The conscience of the nation ought to be awakened to these terrible
unchanging conditions bringing suffering to the poor, the children
and disgrace to the Philippines worldwide. Diplomats cringe in shame
when foreign government officials raise the issue. Cardinal
Archbishop Tagle just smiles when challenged about it as on BBC

They are the children of God, declared by Jesus of Nazareth as the
most important in the Kingdom, accept them we accept Jesus.Thats our
Faith. But in the catholic Philippines the church as institution has
also failed the children. They languish abused in prisons and there
is no Catholic social action to save them.
The child Jesus is revered in Cebu, the worship and procession of a
statue is a passion here but apparently there is little or no respect
for the living children.

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