After the outrage over viral photos of a toddler leashed like a dog, another set of parents are being sought by authorities for posting photos of their children who were allegedly being ‘taught’ to smoke cigarettes — just for fun.
Reports say that in one album entitled “Yosi pa more”, photos of a toddler who was allegedly being made to puff a cigarette while carried by a woman, assumed to be the mother or a kin, draw much ire from social media users.
In another set of photos, another child was seen ‘puffing’ on a cigarette; reportedly posted by the father of the child in the viral photos who even bragged that he is not a bad father and that he is just showing to his child how cool he lives his life and that it’s just for fun.
Both accounts have reportedly been deactivated.
Such public display of irresponsible parenting has pushed the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Dinky Soliman, to issue a stern warning against parents, or non-parents alike, who commit abuse on children; saying that such acts wherein children were treated like toys even if it’s “just for fun”, made worse by putting it on public display, is certainly punishable under the law.
Anyone who commits such acts is liable under the Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Act and Republic Act 7610, also known as the Anti-Child Abuse Law; as in the case of the mother who posted photos of her leashed child with a caption that showed she had a fit of laughter over the incidence of ‘playfulness, and totally unmindful of the serious implication of her act.
DSWD has taken the child under its care and psychosocial assessments are reportedly in place to determine the impact on the child. Likewise, the capacity of the mother to take care of her son will also undergo evaluation, as disclosed by Soliman.
Meanwhile, the case of the smoking children may present more serious implications as both involves putting the children’s health at risk.
In a news report by GMA, Hazel Militante of the Chief Protective Services Division, DSWD NCR shared that parents should be the first to protect their children. She adds that even it’s just for Facebook or social media purposes, or for the sake of fun which even extends to public sharing, such acts committed by anyone, even the parents of the ‘smoking’ kids, is not permissible.
Let the series of incidents be a reminder to treat children right and to be responsible regarding posting on social media.