Philippines Free Press Editorial
April 1, 1961
The New Menace
THIS country has never been more menaced by youthful criminality than it is today.
One has only to take a cursory look at the nation’s press to realize the gravity of our teen-age problem. No less than the secretary of national defense and the chief of staff of the Philippine Constabulary have offered to make available units of our armed forces to stem the rising tide of youthful violence.
Even the Man in Malacañang during a commencement address in Cebu City this week took cognizance of the rising criminality among our young people, and promised to deal with it “to the full extent of the law.��? At the same time, President Garcia urged that the nation’s attention “be focused unerringly on this social malady.��?
What has happened to our young people?
In Manila and the surrounding cities, they have gone on rampage! Like jungle beasts.
They pick your pockets, snatch your watch or necklace, rob your home. They hold you up or beat you up in some dark alley.
One youthful hooligan even splashed acid on the face of a man. Others have tortured their victims with darts, as if they were savages. Recently certain youths were reported to have bashed in a man’s head with a stone.
And the weapons they use. Even hardened, professional gangsters have nothing on our juvenile thugs and killers. A collection of their instruments of torture and death which the Manila police confiscated consisted of ice picks, machetes, slingshots, balisongs, kitchen knives, screw drivers, awls, bows and arrows, lead pipes, pieces of rubber hose and wrenches.
Not to mention, of course, licensed as well as unlicensed guns.
Because juvenile gangsterism has reached alarming proportions, our law-enforcement agencies and civic organizations are all excited and ready to join the campaign against the new menace of juvenile terrorism.
They should have shown such concern before so many of our youths became the barbarians that they are today.