Youth group alarmed over ‘Oplan Rody’ implementation, fears repeat of martial law

  • Youth group SPARK calls for the suspension of Oplan Rody
  • Oplan Rody aims to curb the streets of vices and petty crime by enforcing a curfew to minors
  • SPARK described the ordinance as “hauntingly similar to martial law days”

A recently organized youth group, the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), has expressed deep concern on the ongoing police operations in several cities in Metro Manila and provinces in an effort to curb vices and petty crime.

SPARK claimed in a Facebook post that Oplan Rody or Rid the Streets of Drunkards and Youth, which enforces anti-vice, decency and curfew decrees, “shows utter disregard to realities” of an evolving and booming metropolis and will “harken back to the darker days of our history”; implying that the measure is a throwback to martial law.

The group added that checking of identification papers under “Oplan Rody” are “hauntingly similar to martial law days.”

“On one side, we admit that local government units have the responsibility to curb petty crime and vice but then again it counteracts other programs that the national government has implemented only recently,” said SPARK head Joanne Lim of University of the Philippines Diliman.

The Diliman-based activist said the city mayors and the police have mindlessly and indiscriminately enforced their “Jurassic” ordinances in an effort to get into the good side of the Duterte administration without taking into account the day-to-day struggles of commuting and working students.

SPARK called for the suspension of “Oplan Rody” until authorities modify the ordinance to take into consideration modern-day realities, while also urging city councils to lay down mechanisms to ensure rights are protected, as per an article published by Inquirer.

“To implement the curfew in the manner which is done as seen on television is not only traumatic but also indiscriminate. Such draconian measures and methods cannot be implemented without violation of human rights, because all minors found past 10 p.m., are under the presumption of criminal activity, not unless proven to be enrolled or came from their graveyard shift at work,” she said.