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President vetoes anti-corporal punishment bill
MALACAÑANG announced on Thursday that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vetoed the bill that seeks to ban corporal punishment on children.
“Confirmed,” Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea told reporters in an interview on Thursday, Feb. 28, when asked about the vetoed bill.
“Pursuant to Section 27(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, I am returning herewith without my signature enrolled bill Senate Bill (SB) No. 1477/ House Bill (HB) No. 8239, entitled: ‘An act promoting positive and nonviolent discipline, protecting children from physical, humiliating or degrading acts as a form of punishment and appropriating funds therefor,’” President Rodrigo R. Duterte said in his veto message dated Feb. 23, 2019.
Mr. Duterte said he does not agree with the “overly sweeping condemnation” of child corporal punishment. “On the contrary, I am of the firm conviction that responsible parents can and have administered corporal punishment in a self-restrained manner, such that the children remember it not as an act of hate or abuse, but a loving act of discipline that desires only to uphold their welfare,” he explained.
“Such manner of undertaking corporal punishment has given rise to beneficial results for society, with countless children having been raised up to become law-abiding citizens with a healthy respect for authority structures in the wider community,” the President added.
The President noted that the proposed measure “places such responsible disciplining of children in the same category as humiliating and degrading forms of punishment, and condemns them all in one broad stroke.”
“Making no distinctions, the bill would allow government to extend its reach into the privacy of the family, authorizing measures aimed at suppressing corporal punishment regardless of how carefully it is practiced,” he said.
He also said he is aware that there has been a growing trend in Western countries that sees all forms of corporal punishment “as an outdated form of disciplining children,” but he “strongly” believes that Filipinos “should resist this trend in favor of a more balanced and nuanced approach, one that is both protective of the child as well as cognizant of the prerogatives of devoted parents who believe in the merits of corporal punishment, rightly administered.”
President Duterte further stressed that the cultural trends of other countries are “not necessarily healthy for our own nation.”
“To uncritically follow the lead of these countries, especially in matters as significant as the family, would be a great disservice to the succeeding generations,” he said. — Arjay L. Balinbin