Manila, March 1, 2003 -- The PNP yesterday proposed the imposition of curfew for minors in Mindanao, which also has a high incidence of street crimes.

Task Force Mindanao chief Deputy Director General Edgar Aglipay, concurrent deputy chief for operations, said although the curfew plan has yet to be approved by local government units in Metro Manila, expanding it to cover Mindanao would help in the peace and order campaign in the region.

"If the curfew is imposed in Metro Manila then its effects, whether good or bad, would be the basis for the proposal in Mindanao," Aglipay said.

Aglipay assured that the PNP will institute measures to prevent abuses like what happened during martial law.

He reported that in Mindanao, minors were often seen roaming the streets, including in the regions' red light districts.

Minors have also been frequently involved in illegal drugs cases, including other dangerous substances such as rugby and solvent.

PNP's proposal for a metro-wide curfew for minors is still being reviewed by Metro Manila mayors. At present, Marikina, Manila, Muntinlupa and Mandaluyong are implementing curfew for those aged 18 and below.

Malacaang said it is entirely up to the Metro Manila mayors to decide whether to impose a curfew for minors.

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said the mayors and city or municipal councils should decide because they have the power to enact the required ordinances.

"Ito ay puwedeng pag-usapan sa level ng local governments dahil meron silang kapangyarihang magpasa ng sariling ordinansa at sa ilang siyudad at bayan ng Metro Manila ginagawa na ito," he said.

Bunye, former Muntinlupa City mayor and congressman, said he "personally" favors the imposition of a curfew for all cities and municipalities in Metro Manila.

The curfew proposal came on the heels of President Arroyo's order for the PNP to bring down street crimes after noting an increase in petty crimes in January. (Raymond Africa and Regina Bengco, Malaya)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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