Save the Children Philippines denounces the recent shooting incident that killed mother and son Sonya, 52, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, in Tarlac which was witnessed by a number of children.
We strongly believe that violence in all forms is unacceptable—more so if it is brazenly committed in the presence of children. Exposing children to violence is in itself a form of violence against children and sets a dangerous example to a generation of future leaders and parents.
Violence has a devastating long-term impact on children and seriously affects a child’s development, dignity, as well as physical and psychological integrity. The brutal incident can cause irreparable trauma, especially to the children involved, that may manifest later in the form of depression, anxiety, anger, disassociation, and other health problems.
Vilifying, condemning, and cyberbullying are also not the solutions to the issue.
Rather, it is the strict exercise of our obligation to raise children responsibly in a nurturing home and their protection from violence that parents, guardians, and the community must undertake.
We also call on our law enforcers to adhere to their sworn duty to serve and protect the people, and to exercise tolerance in preserving the rights of every child.
This incident should be a reminder to all of us of our responsibility to treat our fellow human beings with compassion and respect even in the midst of conflict. It is of utmost importance for adults to set a good example to the younger generation to help bring us closer to a future without violence against children.
Save the Children Philippines condoles with the family and loved ones of the victims and hopes for justice to be served immediately.