By J. Jala | 09:41 PM December 23, 2020
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has appealed to the public to stop criticizing the daughter of Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, stressing the child is also a “victim.”
Videos circulating online and being aired on TV showed the shooting happening in front of a child.
“UNICEF is deeply concerned for the well-being of this child whose photos are being circulated on social media platforms where she has been repeatedly vilified and verbally abused. Children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence, including bullying. The child is also a victim in this situation. We appeal to the public to refrain from using violent language and posting her photos and personal information. This only causes additional harm, trauma, and stigma to the child, ” Unicef said in a statement on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.
It said children also have the right to be supported through non-violent parenting practices and behaviors from adults to enable them to grow up in a safe environment and reach their full potential.
According to Unicef, various studies have shown that children who are victims of and those who witness violence become vulnerable to physical and mental health problems, some of which will manifest when they reach their adulthood.
Unicef urged the Local Social Welfare and Development Office to provide psychosocial support and other needed child protection services to all children who witnessed the violent event.
As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Philippines is duty-bound to uphold the right of all children to be protected from all forms of violence, and their right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment that develops their potentials and capacities.
Unicef also urged the Philippine government and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately adopt and implement the PNP Child Protection policy, which will reinforce zero-tolerance for any act of violence against children and ensure special protection of children from all forms of abuse and exploitation by providing policies and guidelines to be followed by all PNP personnel.
Viral videos of the incident showed the child standing near her father during heated exchanges with Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony.
During the confrontation, the girl shouted at Sonya: “My father is a policeman.”
“I don’t care,” Gregorio shouted back, enraging Nuezca, who drew his 9mm M-92 service pistol and shot her point-blank in the head, then Frank Anthony twice. Before leaving with his daughter, Nuezca shot Sonya once more as she lay on the ground.
Netizens have since then blamed and shamed Nuecza’s daughter online, pointing out that the dispute escalated because of the child’s jeering.
For mental health and counselling support services, such as the Philippine Red Cross hotlines at 143 or 1158, or the National Center for Mental Health crisis hotlines at 09178998727 and (02) 7989 8727.