Pubdate: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 Source: People's Journal (Philippines) Copyright: 2004 People's Journal Contact: http://www.journal.com.ph/contactus.asp Website: http://www.journal.com.ph/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3381 Author: Miriam Vivo-Torrecampo Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/meth.htm (Methamphetamine) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/youth.htm (Youth) STREET KIDS SELL SEX FOR SHABU STREET children who use prohibited drugs, particularly shabu, are forced to have sex with policemen and foreigners to maintain their illegal vice. A former streetkid, Joseph Rodriguez, exposed this during the "Sex Files" (All About the Young and the Curious) Youth Forum, in celebration of the World Population Day at the Far Eastern University Conference Center in Manila. Joseph, 17, is an active member of CHILDHOPE, a nongovernment organization catering to homeless and abused children found in the streets. He is a volunteer youth peer educator for the organization. As one of the youth reactors during the forum, Joseph shared the plight of street children particularly the sexual abuses of youths in the streets. Joseph was speaking based on his own experience as a former street kid in Padre Faura, Manila and as peer educator. "May mga magulang na nag-bubugaw sa sarili nilang mga anak. May mga pulis na ibinubugaw ang mga batang lansangan sa mga foreigners. May mga batang kusang ibinibenta ang sarili para may pambili ng shabu," Joseph said. The third-year high school student said majority of the streetkids he knew and those he has been educating at present admitted taking prohibited drugs before going to bed with a foreign customers for money. "'Yung kinikita nila pinambibili rin nila ng shabu kaya maliit lang ang natitira sa kanila," Joseph said. The young hookers, mostly girls, make P2,000 to P4,000 per night. Joseph claimed that rounded up streetchildren often end up as victims of abuse by police authorities. He said more prone to abuse are children using drugs. "Dalawa lang ang hahantungan ng mga batang babaing nahuhuli ng mga pulis. Sex-laya at bugbog-kulong. Kapag sex-laya ang pinili ng bata, hindi na siya dadalhin sa presinto kungdi sa tabi-tabi lang ginagamit, sakay ng taxi o jeep," he said. "Kapag hindi pumayag makipag-sex ang bata, hindi lang bugbog ang aabutin nila, tutuluyan pa silang ikulong ng pulis. Kung lalaki naman, tinatalo sila ng mga baklang pulis," he added. Joseph disclosed that kids sold to foreigners are brought to cheap motels along Sta. Cruz Avenue in Manila. "Mura lang ang bayad sa mga motels dito (Sta. Cruz) at dito lang tumatanggap ng bata na kasama ay foreigner," he said. Joseph said most children in the streets have a family of their own. But physical and emotional abuse from family members forced them to leave their shelter and live on their own with other vagrant kids. "Ang karaniwang problema ng mga bata sa lansangan ay ang pang-aabuso sa loob ng tahanan, walang kaalaman sa karapatan nila, mahina ang loob at lantad na paggamit ng droga," he said. Joseph would want to make a difference in the lives of his former fellow street kids. Since he become a member of CHILDHOPE, he decided to help these children by providing regular lectures on the rights of children even in the wee hours of the night. "Tumutulong po ako sa street education sa pagbibigay ng sariling karanasan ko sa mga bata. Nakikipagusap po kami sa mga bata magmula 9 p.m. hanggang 1 a.m. Tinuturuan po namin sila kung paano maalagaan ang sarili nila kahit nasa lansangan sila," Joseph noted. "Karapatan ng mga bata ang maging malaya. Hindi sila dapat parusahan ng walang kasalanan. Alam ng ibang kabataan na mali ang ginagawa sa kanila, pero takot at mahina ang loob nilang magsumbong. Kadalasang panakot sa kanila ang 45 caliber na baril, tinututok sa ulo nila," he added. Joseph said he plans to reach and educate more streetchildren in the future particularly those who are using illegal drugs.