Task force on morals warns motels: ‘This Valentine’s Day, shun minors’

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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ILOILO City – In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, the Iloilo City Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF) is tightly monitoring motels, lodging houses and similar establishments.

They should strictly comply with Ordinance No. 2015-447 prohibiting them from accepting minors, said task force head George Duron.

Tomorrow, Duron is meeting the owners and managers of these establishments.

Ordinance No. 2015-447 targets sex predators by regulating the operation of lodging houses, pension houses, inns, hotels, motels, apartelles and other similar establishments.

Specifically, it prohibits anybody from spending time with minors alone in these establishments.

“Taxis entering the premises of these establishments should immediately be checked by the security guard for the possible presence of minors,” said Duron.

Privacy should not be invoked to get around the ordinance, he warned, citing the series of public hearings that the Sangguning Panlungsod conducted before approving it last year.

Clients entering these establishments have the burden of proving their legal age by presenting valid identification cards, said Duron.

Establishments accepting minor clients risk being penalized. Under Section 11 of Ordinance 2015-447, a violator shall be meted with a fine of P5,000, imprisonment of one year and possible cancellation of business permit, as determined by the Office of the Mayor.

Duron cited as example Moonlight Lodge in Arevalo district where a 15-year-old girl was killed in June last year. The girl was allowed to enter the lodge with a much older man.

The task force filed charges against the owner and manager of Moonlight Lodge before the Iloilo City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of sections 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Ordinance No. 2015-447 and Article 4 of Regulation Ordinance 2011-307 (Comprehensive CCTV Ordinance).

The suspect in the girl’s death was not identified immediately because Moonlight Lodge’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera was not working, according to Duron.

The Regulation Ordinance No. 2015-447 specified suspicious circumstances that should be a cause for alarm and must be prohibited. Two of these were:

* any person who, not being a relative of a minor, is spending time alone with the said minor inside a room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessels, vehicles or any hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse; and

* any person who keeps or have in his company a minor below 18 years old or who is 10 years or more his junior and is not a family member, in any lodging houses, hotels, motels, beer joints, discotheques, cabarets, pension houses, saunas or massage parlors, beach resorts or similar places./PN





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