Operations to detain street children in the #Philippines before Pope Francis’s arrival reported!

A Daily Mail report is making waves asserting that the Philippines’ police have mounted an operation to “round up orphans and chain them in filth during pontiff’s visit to Philippines.”

The report cites the testimony of a certain Catherine Scerri, deputy director of street children charity Bahay Tuluyan who says that all this is really routine in Manila and that the practice follows a pattern of “happening before big international events in the past”. According to the Daily Mail, Scerri was said to have “remarked on a noticeable rise in the number of ‘rescues’ of street children by officials in recent weeks because of the Pope’s visit.” Notably, “[these operations] happened before President Obama’s visit to the Philippines in April last year. When we tried to have them released we were told they couldn’t come out until after Obama had gone and the children were very much given the impression that they were rescued because of this visit,” she also said.

One of the many detention facilities for Manila's 'rescued' street children(Photo courtesy Daily Mail)
One of the many detention facilities for Manila’s ‘rescued’ street children
(Photo courtesy Daily Mail)

The report goes further…

A survey by Bahay Tuluyan found the so-called ‘rescue’ operations to round up street children are indiscriminate, targeting youngsters who have committed no offences and do not want to go to detention centres.

Children are taken in simply for sleeping on the street, for begging, or for stealing food to relieve their hunger, with no proper judicial process, and are exposed to abuse and exploitation by older children and adults, the study found.

While the information in the Daily Mail report comes from various sources, the only part of it that categorically asserts that these “rescue operations” were mounted directly in preparation for Pope Francis’s visit is in this snippet:

MailOnline found dozens of street children locked up in appalling conditions alongside adult criminals in Manila, where a senior official admitted there had been an intensive round-up by police and government workers to make sure they are not seen by Pope Francis.

The “senior official” who supposedly provided this information remains unnamed. The report also exhibits various photos of children held in various detention centres in Manila.

Skin-and-bones: Manila street child 'Federico' reportedly abused in Manila's Reception and Action Center(Photo courtesy Inquirer)
Skin-and-bones: Manila street child ‘Federico’ reportedly abused in Manila’s Reception and Action Center
(Photo courtesy Inquirer)
Interestingly enough, Bahay Tuluyan’s Scerri was featured in an Inquirer report published in mid-November, 2014 after she released a photo of a boy named “Federico” who, at the time, was detained in a Manila government facility where he allegedly suffered appalling maltreatment and negligence under the care of workers in that facility. The photo showed the skin-and-bones form of the boy (with face pixelated) prompting the “shocked observers” to liken the place to a “concentration camp”.

The photo was accompanied by a letter signed by Bahay Tuluyan Executive Director Lily Flordelis.

“Many children we have spoken to complained that they were physically abused, assaulted and even tortured by the [Manila Reception and Action Center (RAC)] staff,” Flordelis said.

These incidents largely went unreported to higher authorities, she said. If ever documented in cases where the victim had to undergo a medical examination, the resulting reports were “very superficial” because the examination was done “in the presence of the same officials who had beaten up the child, thereby inhibiting (full) disclosure” of the injuries.

Guantanamo Bay where detained terror suspects were allegedly tortured may be the United States’ shame. But the Philippines’ child “welfare” facilities where street kids are allegedly tortured are its former colony’s even bigger shame!

Small surprise that the Philippines has also long been a haven for child abusers with many “tourists” from North America and Western Europe coming to practice their craft with impunity. It was only in recent years that police have cracked down hard but have targetted mainly sexual abuse over the Internet, thanks mainly to strong pressure from police overseas.

Strangely, Philippine law states that “Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counseling, and moral and material security” and directs the state to provide abandoned children with “the nearest substitute for a home”

This and other ideas are enshrined in the Presidential Decree No. 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code of the Philippines, which also provides strong legal tools that can be applied to the prosecution of child abusers and makes all “hospitals, clinics and other institutions as well as private physicians providing treatment” accountable for reporting suspected cases of abuse and maltreatment to the proper authorities.

Sadly, like all else in the Philippines, how well these laws are enforced leaves much to be desired.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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25 Comments on "Operations to detain street children in the #Philippines before Pope Francis’s arrival reported!"

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Ben another french expat
Ben another french expat

Philippine laws … OXYMORON !


Oh God, the Red Skull was right. Not even Deadpool with all his insanity would put up with this kind of crap.

This is an outrage to humanity. We’re better people than this.

Please guys tell me we’re better people than this. This is monstrous. In progressive nations this would be seen as a triumph of evil and thousands of unhappy citizens would rise up to stamp it out.

But here it’s a different story…

Here people don’t care…


Filipinos simply love to impress visitors, now on a national scale!

Oh, btw, I’m reminded by this.


After seeing Neil Tupas quote Oliver Cromwell’s speech to the British Parliament at the beginning of the Corona trial and then to see the mockery of ‘just us’ and realizing what actually took place at that ‘trial’ (Corona, the scumbag, walked away unscathed with his ill-gotten millions of $$$ and the ones that could have landed him in prison were removed from the complaint.)it is no surprise to see this happening. How does the filipino treat the least among them? Worse than dogs.Aushwitz like conditions for ‘Frederico’ and others of his un-fortunate ilk and big diamond rings and silk suits… Read more »

Dapat ata nilalagyan ng DongYan sa title para instant hit eh. This really needs some major attention.

Honestly, the pope should just cancel his visit, to save all those children further misery. That way he can also put major pressure to the Manila Government.


This is not new to me. They have been doing this since time immemorial. What else is new in the Failippines anyway?

I agree with d_forsaken, this is not NEW especially to those whose eyes are very wide open with whats really happening to our society. This has been happening for so long, most Filipinos are either in denial or just plain stupid not to have seen this situation every time there’s a “VIP” that comes in. And those priest that pretends holy are all “BS” talking about “God” and its teachings where they themselves should rot in hell because they always see this situation every single day of their lives even outside of church but they are NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT… Read more »
Sick Amore



To the Editor,

KNOW YOUR FACTS before posting…. wag tatanga tanga sa pagreresearch


Stop spreading lies…. you are not helping, instead you are promoting stupidity. Use the internet properly.


lumang picture na yang batang payatot na nakahiga. SO baka lumang pics na rin yung ibang nakakulong mga delinquent.

Hyden Toro_m7j

It is very sad, that this is happening in our country. Aquino is trying to “sweep” the trash under the carpet. To hide his incompetence, in addressing this issue of Children abuse.

The Roman Catholic Church and other religious organization, should also address this issue, on the reason of “Charity for the poor”. Since our government is incapable of solving this problem…Did not Jesus Christ taught us to love the children , the poor, and our neighbor?


For a country whose citizens like to parrot for being “Loving” and “Friendly” to all, they’re allowing an atrocity like this to happen. And the kicker? Its happening right under their noses!

The unfortunate truth is, this is but a symptom of a larger problem in the Philippines: the broken culture and the result of that culture, the government. Both which perpetuate the madness we see today.

“I’d rather have a Philippines run like Hell by Filipinos, than a Heaven by Americans.” ~Manuel L. Quezon

Run like Hell indeed.


Just like Marcos days when a dignitary is visiting the country, just sweep the dirt under the carpet. After the visit, life is back to normal dirt.

vincent mohindas

This is ridiculous and a great injustice performed by Authorities, just to please the eyes of the Pope that all is well with the masses. Sure many Asians and poor countries witness this scenario, pero, a predominant Christian nation and a beacon to Christ in this part of the World could performs these acts of cruelty “cannot be forgiven”