This past week has been a crucial and stressful week for parents of young children in Batangas, Philippines because of separate cases of abduction that have been reported and spread around the province.
Up to this day, 4 children are still missing but it’s still not confirmed whether they have really been abducted or if they went missing because of other reasons.
CHILDHOOD MYTHS ON ABDUCTION
During my childhood days and even way back before that, parents and other adults would usually use imaginary stories of strangers abducting children who are seen roaming around the streets to prevent those children from loitering around.
Children would usually get scared and heed their parents’ warnings. As a result, they would usually stay home or never go out without an adult companion.
I have grown up hearing those kinds of warnings from adults to children, especially when a child is really rowdy.
Now that I am an adult and a parent myself, hearing news reports and stories about children being abducted by van-riding criminals have become a big concern for me.
If I used to ignore the stories before, it seems to be very different now. The imaginary stories have become real stories of crime and concern.
The latest child abduction reports in Batangas are not the first of their kind when it comes to this kind of crime here in the Philippines.
Many cases of abduction have also been reported before. It’s just so unusual how the cases of missing children in that particular province have continuously increased in just a week’s time.
If it is indeed true that the children have been abducted, it is really a major cause of concern not only for parents but also for the local officials and authorities of the province.
As a mother, I cannot afford to see my child go missing in any way at all. I would go crazy thinking about what happened to my child if it would ever happen to me.
Immediate action and vigilance should be implemented to prevent any further case of abduction, not only in Batangas but in other provinces as well.
If in case this abduction reports are just being made up by people to cause fear and panic among the public, the malicious people who are doing this should also face charges with the terror they are causing to people.
ILLEGAL ORGAN TRADE
There have been numerous stories and reports before about syndicates abducting people, most especially children, women and the homeless for interest of their internal organs. These organs are sold for big amounts of money through illegal organ trading.
These cases of abduction had been spreading from Metro Manila to the provinces, and even the province where I lived in wasn’t spared of abduction stories which have caused a significant alarm on the people of our community including me.
I cannot confirm if this case was true or not but the reason why child abduction alarm reached our area was because of an alleged report that a child from a neighboring town, who has gone missing for 2 weeks was found dead 2 or 3 towns away from the child’s place of residence.
The most alarming thing about the report was the alleged state of the body when it was found. The child’s body had been dissected and his major organs were missing. In place of the organs that were removed was a certain amount of money tucked inside the child’s body.
When local community folks and parents heard about the child’s story, the residents and local officials of our place coordinated to increase the security of our community. The local community police have been advised to be more alert and stricter when it comes to unknown individuals with vehicles entering our area.
More stories of abduction were spread around after that. In my case as a parent, I made sure my child never went to school & went home alone. Even his playing area was restricted to only the confines of our backyard. I never let him out of my sight.
VIGILANCE AMONG COMMUNITIES
Whether these stories of abduction are true or not, they have definitely become a cause of fear for many individuals. It is still our prerogative to implement extra caution in our daily lives and activities.
Child abduction is something which should not just be taken aside. Some stories are plain hoaxes, while some are genuinely true.
It is my call for the concerned authorities to help alleviate the fear from people’s minds by showing vigilance and action on this matter. It is my hope that these child abduction and illegal organ trade syndicates would soon be caught and given due punishment by law.
Spreading of false stories should also be looked upon and given due attention. Having a loved-one go missing with the thought of being abducted is no joke. People spreading plain rumors should have the heart to put themselves on the shoes of the real victims.
Instead of becoming a source of alarm and terror, why not become a source of strength and motivation for families who are really experiencing the pain of having a family member abducted or missing?
As a parent, my heart breaks for the parents of the children who are still missing up to this day. I hope answers and justice would soon be served for them.
On the other hand, as responsible individuals and citizens of our community, it is my call for everyone to take necessary actions of caution and concern for each and everyone.
Let us unite as members of our respective communities and become watchdogs of each and everyone. If we see someone who is unfamiliar and acting suspiciously, even if we’re not the ones who are potentially going to be affected, it is our duty to report our observations to the proper authorities.
ESSENTIAL SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER
I am not an expert when it comes to this kind of matter but let me end this post with some precautionary tips that most of us have always known but need to be reminded of sometimes:
1. Always remember the old saying, “Don’t talk to strangers.” It is always a no-no to entertain conversations from people we don’t know especially if they look suspicious. It is true that we shouldn’t judge people basing on how they look but it pays to be a little careful nowadays. "Don't talk to strangers" is a phrase that has been a constant reminder for children from way back when. This phrase has remained very useful up to this day.
2. Believe your gut instinct. We have a natural gift of sensing if something is not going right or if something bad is going to happen. Even animals have that kind of instinct. Usually our instincts are right so always trust them. It wouldn’t hurt to listen to your inner self especially if you’re sensing danger around you. It is important to teach our children to learn how to identify what a "gut feel" is and teach them to trust that instinct.
3. Make sure you go out in groups. Most people become victims of crime when they are alone. We tend to become vulnerable when we are alone especially when the criminal is stronger, armed or from a group. Same with children; parents should make sure that their children are always with a group of trusted friends whenever they are out of the home or school premises.
4. Learn self-defense. It would be a good idea to try learning techniques in protecting yourself to help you escape from danger. I find self-defense as a must for us today especially since criminals seem to be increasing with time. There are a lot of self-defense programs that are also being offered to children. Self-defense not only helps in defending oneself but it is also a good way of learning a high degree of self-control and self-discipline.
5. Be alert. If in case you end up being abducted, it is important to keep your mind in order. I know it is not easy to avoid panic but keep a strong spirit and keep an alert mind as much as you can. That way, you can think of ways of escaping from your abductors.
6. Have an escape plan. It is also essential to have an escape plan in mind so that you would have something to fall back on when you come face to face with an abductor.
7. Pray! When all else fails, leave everything up to Him. In all the situations we encounter in life, it is the greatest thing we can rely on. Pray and lay everything up to the Lord.
Images courtesy of Pixabay
Did you like this post? Feel free to share it on your social media accounts, bookmark it or subscribe to this blog to get a regular dose of my opinions and ideas on the pressing issues of today. You can also express your thoughts on the comment section of this post. I would gladly welcome your comments. Have a great day ahead of you! J