Kean Gabriel Hotline to rescue abused kids
Kean Gabriel is celebrating his fourth birthday on October 29.
Because his mother and stepfather could not afford a party, the best that the boy could possibly have is a platter of pancit and a ‘Happy Birthday’ song from his siblings and his friends in the community.
There will be no cake and no candles to blow. There will be no balloons, too. It will be just like the past birthdays — nothing extra special.
Except this is not happening at all.
There will be no birthday party for Kean.
And there is no Kean anymore — only the name and the memory of a child killed just two months before he could turn 4.
The 21-year-old killer was Kean’s stepfather. He beat him for being ‘langas’ — for misbehaving — forcing him inside a sack that he placed on top of a cabinet inside their one-room house in Matina Pangi.
The sack, the boy, fell from the cabinet top to the floor for a number of times. His head injuries were fatal.
The abuse happened while Kean’s mother watched. She did nothing to save her son but just watched until he died.
Post-mortem report revealed severe internal hemorrhage inside the boy’s head.
At his wake, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte could not hide her disgust.
“No child deserves such a death,” the mayor said. “No 3-year-old child or any child of whatever age should die or suffer from abuse or neglect from the hands of anybody.”
She stressed: “Children should, at all times, be protected.”
Because of Kean’s death, the mayor formed a group dedicated to rescue abused children.
The team is composed of social workers, police officers, health professionals, and paralegals.
Mayor Duterte also ordered to set up the Kean Gabriel Hotline.
Information about abused children can be reported by calling or texting 0908-8184444.
A team will be dispatched to rescue the abused child. The hotline is under the Quick Response Team for Children Center of City Social Services and Development Office (QRTCC-CSSDO), operating 24/7.
Juenalyn Pablo, QRTCC Head, said 25 employees were recently trained on receiving reports, counseling and therapeutic voice and resiliency, and stress management.
The hotline is an inter-department effort, said Lorna Mandin, head of the Integrated Gender Development Division, noting that it involves her office, the City Health Office, Central 911, the Philippine National Police and the CSSDO.
“It is primarily for prevention of child abuse. A help line for either the ‘victim’ or the witness of abuse happening in the community,” Mandin said. CIO