The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines expressed deep concern for the well-being of the child involved in the murder of a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac whose videos and photos circulating online that showed the shooting happened in front of the 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,” the United Nations children’s agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Children have the right to be protected from all forms of violence, including bullying. The child is also a victim in this situation,” it added.

UNICEF calls for protection of children involved in the killing of Sonya and Frank Gregorio. Read our complete…

Posted by UNICEF Philippines on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The UNICEF appealed to the public to refrain from using violent language and posting the child’s photos and personal information, which can cause additional harm, trauma, and stigma to the child.
The agency underscored that 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. 
“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,” it said.
The 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.
“We encourage those who were traumatized or affected by the video and the incident to access 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,” the agency said.
Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca was seen in the viral video shooting 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her 25-year-old son Frank Anthony in the head at close range. He was also seen pumping another bullet on the head of Sonya when she fell down on the pavement.

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The viral video triggered shock and anger on social media and also elicited widespread anti-police sentiments.
The UNICEF has called the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately adopt and implement the PNP Child Protection policy, which reinforces zero-tolerance for any act of violence against children and aims to ensure special protection of children from all forms of abuse and exploitation by providing policies and guidelines to be followed by all PNP personnel.

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Source: Manila Bulletin (