TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Fourteen children in conflict with the law (CICL), accompanied by their parents, are participating in a values enhancement and spiritual upliftment program recently.
Facilitated by the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO), the activity is part of the city’s diversion program for CICL, aimed at strengthening the participants’ values by deepening their spirituality and relationship with God.
Lecturers are pastors Eddie Guillermo, Avelina Vinoray, and Benjamin Paycoan who taught the participants various lessons from the Bible centering on familial relationships. There are also activities in between lectures to engage the participants.
Mr. Enrique Baliang, who gave an encouraging message on behalf of Mayor Darwin Estrañero, told the participants that it is normal to falter. “Even saints make mistakes,” he said.
He dissuaded them against being “defeatist” or expecting to fail because they have failed once before, reassuring them that they are very much capable of turning their lives around.
Baliang also gave advise to the parents, telling them to support their children throughout their treatment and uplift their confidence.
CICL refers to a child who is alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as, having committed an offence under Philippine laws. Under Republic Act 9344 of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, CICL must undergo a diversion program, an alternative process to formal litigation premised on restorative justice which utilizes community-based responses to a child’s misbehavior for the child’s best interest instead of criminal prosecution. Diversion would also prevent destructive labeling.
Apart from the spiritual counselling, the participants will individually undergo a comprehensive treatment program which varies according to the gravity of their offenses.