July 25, 2021


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Bam Aquino

Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino lV celebrated his birthday at the city's Operation Second Chance Center in Barangay Kalunasan. (Photo by Allan Defensor)


By Tonton Alcos Antogop


CEBU CITY- They can not vote for him but Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino lV opted to celebrate his 42nd birthday yesterday with the Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL) of the city’s Operation Second Chance Center in Barangay Kalunasan here. He said even if the youthful offenders could not vote, he values all of them. “Gusto po namin maka birthday kayong lahat.

Actually po mahalagang-mahalaga, hindi naman po ito pangangampanya dahil wala naman sa inyong bumoboto di ba? Dumaan po kami dahil gusto naming ikwento sa inyo na mahalaga kayo sa amin,” Aquino said as he addressed the minors after he flew in from Bacolod City just to be with them.

He explained that every person deserve second chances thus encouraging them to renew their selves while in the city’s youth reformation facility. “Ako po naniniwala na ang ating bansa, ang ating Diyos, eh, we should be a country of second chances,” Aquino added, a reelectionist from the opposition’s Otso Diretso ticket.

The center’s Assistant Director Lorenzo dela Cerna who welcome Aquino and his party revealed that the Senator worked earlier for the allocation of P5,000, 000, 00 to enhance the center’s facilities Dela Cerna recalled the budget came in 2016 where he also started working in the center that is mainly run by the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) of the Cebu City government.

“Actually si Senator Bam para sa kaalaman ng lahat naglaan siya ng five million pesos worth of funding para sa pagpa-repair dito sa center,” Dela Cerna said in his brief speech prior to Aquino’s pep talk with the CICL. A 17 year-old boy resident of the center from Pasil said they were happy that Aquino chose to celebrate with them.

He said it was the first time that he came close to a senator of the country. “Lipay mi Sir oi kay tiaw mo na senador dinhi nag-birthday sa amua.” He said Aquino’s advise to them encouraged him to pursue his studies well. “Maningkamot gyud ko Sir kay siya bitaw miingon nga dunay second chance ang tawo, makadasig gyud ba,” he told iNews.ph in near tears.

According to Dela Cerna, the center has an Alternative Learning System (ALS) as a substitute for the residents’ formal education. The center which is a brainchild of Cebu City Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmena is also equipped with computers so that the CICL would have computer crash courses.

Majority of the 93 residents of the center are boys where at least 80{481076ee53a1fc97de0369f33ed2e92f10b25aa7745daa7b1993dd39620a4254} of them are facing charges of alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. Prior to his travel to Cebu, Aquino met with the barangay captains in Bacolod City where he also had his thanksgiving mass in Bacolod’s St. Joseph Parish Church.