Lawmakers express concern over reported child abductions in Metro Manila

Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela) said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should increase visibility and presence in crowded areas and install Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in key points.

“The Aquino administration through the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) can ask malls to increase guards and cameras, issue advisories and warnings to parents and train bus conductors on the protocol regarding suspicious characters and distracted parents,” Ilagan said.

Ilagan said Congress should increase the penalty for child abduction. Rep. Reena Concepcion Obillo (Party-list, Una ang Pamilya) said raising parents’ awareness primarily through mass media could prevent child abduction. This would curb the vulnerability of kids to become victims, she said.

Obillo underscored that it is the primary responsibility of parents to keep their kids safe. Obillo suggested more police visibility in high-risk areas where abductions take place, plus more police intelligence work on perpetrators and their modus operandi, where the abducted kids end up, and greater interdiction efforts on ransom attempts.

The police have activated "Task Force Sagip Anghel" to look into reports of missing children in the metropolis. In recent weeks, a number of children have been reported missing to the police. Some of the kids were recovered while others remain missing. Records from the NCRPO showed 38 cases of child abductions in Metro Manila last year.

Philippines News agency