FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Minor offenders in Zambales, Luzon need adequate and suitable rehabilitation centers 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you information from Fr. Shay Cullen, MSSC, Founder and President of the PREDA Foundation, regarding their appeal to the provincial government of Zambales in Luzon, Philippines to allow their organization to use idle government buildings and lands for free. According to Fr. Cullen, they ought to convert them into a children’s home for children in conflict with the law.

The PREDA Foundation is initiating efforts to relocate children in conflict with the law from its present prison in San Nicolas, Castillejos, Zambales to the proposed children’s home. Should their proposal be granted, the foundation said it would be helpful in efforts to rehabilitate children, cultivate food crops for their food, provide them with a source of income, as well as other purposes. Under the usufruct legal principle, this initiative would be possible.

The Philippines is among the many countries in Asia that does not have adequate and suitable rehabilitation centers or prisons for minor offenders. In most cases, minor offenders are imprisoned and mixed with adults despite an existing guideline prohibiting such practice. Minors are treated as adult offenders in most prisons in the Philippines. Unless this problem is addressed, any efforts to rehabilitate minor offenders will be difficult.

Furthermore, we ask that you pressure the Philippine government, in particular the Congress and the Senate to consider the passing of the proposed law aimed at creating a juvenile justice system a priority. The bill stipulates measures to address the problem in terms of rehabilitation efforts of children in conflict with the law.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

From PREDA Information Office []

Dear friends, defenders of children, concerned citizens,

The kids behind bars as shown on CNN and ITN all over the world can be released if there is a home where the court can send them and they can escape the jails with pedophiles and criminals. There are un-used government land and buildings that can be converted to children’s homes.

Land was bought (some from politicians) and factories and houses built at bloated cost with relief funds donated by the international community for victims of the Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991. These were hardly used for the victims.

The buildings we are requesting for the children we are rescuing from the dungeon-like prisons are in San Nicolas, Castillejos, Zambales. They were bought with donated relief money.

I am appealing to you to join us in our national and international letter writing campaign to Governor Vic P. Magsaysay of Zambales and Secretary Ricardo Saludo of the Office of the President to give Preda Foundation the free use of the buildings and a piece of land to grow food for the children under usufruct legal principle.

Every one counts and it costs so little, a few words of appeal, a postage stamp. Do this for the kids behind bars.

Fr. Shay Cullen, MSSC
Founder and President
PREDA Foundation



1. Hon. Governor Vic P. Magsaysay
Provincial Capitol
Iba, Zambales
Fax No.: +63 47 811 7203

2. Secretary Ricardo Saludo
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson
Office of the President
Malacanang, Manila
Tel. No.: +63 2 734 2090

Sample letter of Appeal from PREDA:

Dear Governor Vic P. Magsaysay,

Preda made a request for the use of the buildings at San Nicolas, Castillejos, Zambales for conversion into a children’s home. As CNN showed worldwide, the kids some only 8 years old, really need a decent place instead of the jails.

It is in the jails they are turned into criminals and develop anger to society. Terrorists turn to their evil deeds because they are often victims of childhood oppression and abuse.

We are only requesting the buildings for a home and livelihood training and a small piece of unused land reaching to the river at San Nicolas for use as organic farm to help feed the children. We are not requesting the mango groves, fishpond and rice fields. You can assign them to anyone else. Thank you for offering some alternatives but they are not suitable for the children’s needs.

I make this appeal to you and we will get full support for your positive decision to grant this request by appealing to the President, senators and congress people through a campaign to help the children be released from prisons to this new home-to-be. They have contacted us asking for a copy of the CNN tape showing the awful conditions of children behind bars.

I will be speaking before the US Congress Subcommittee on 13 September about this issue and hope to have a positive, happy message from you about the use of those building which were paid for by various donors including World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the U.S. Development funds of the Mt. Pinatubo Commission among others.

Although there is no official paper work transferring the buildings at San Nicolas to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as we were informed, we have appealed to Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane to release the building for the children.

If he will agree, will you do likewise? We will greatly appreciate your reconsideration and support for this important project. When the CNN returns for a follow up report and GMA Channel 7 broadcasts their documentary on it, we hope that we will have a thriving and growing home for children already operating, thanks to you and the provincial board.

May the good Lord guide you always.


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-25-2005
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Child rights,