If you tuned in to Storyline on the ABS-CBN News Channel last Feb. 13, you must have been moved by the story of Mario Aligayda. At age 9, he was convicted of robbery and put inside a filthy, waterless cell with 21 adult convicts at the Handumanan Jail in Bacolod City where violence would break out too often. For lack of space, Mario slept on a hammock.
Three months later, Mario was allowed to continue serving his jail term in Bahay Pag-asa, the PLDT-sponsored juvenile detention center founded by the De La Salle brothers.
Mario is one of the 50,000 children jailed since 1995. Today, at 15, he is a free man and continues to go to school. He has chosen to stay at Bahay Pag-asa, and now teaches young children. He hopes to build a house for his father, the man who sits everyday on the city sidewalk repairing shoes. [read full article...]