After receiving numerous backlash and criticism from netizens for proposing to tweak some part of the lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem, Senate President Vicente Sotto III is now getting a thumbs up from netizens after proposing to amend a law that is worth revising.
On Monday, Sotto filed the Senate Bill 2026 seeking to lower the age of criminal liability to the age of 13 instead of 15-years-old as stated in the Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 authored by opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan.
Sotto said that he made this move as more minors are getting more involved in illegal activities nowadays; most of them are under syndicates who are taking advantage of the Juvenile Act by using minors to violate the law.
“Due to the continuing challenge in the implementation of RA 9344, as amended, the aforesaid law must be further amended to lower the minimum age of criminal liability in order to adapt to the changing times,” Sotto explained in his explanatory note.
“Not only was the law abused by criminals but the innocence of these youngsters were deliberately taken from them,” he added.
Sotto said that the age 15 is too high not to be held liable in illegal activities, the Senator cited a study by Child Rights International Network which shows that in Asia and Africa, the minimum age for criminal liability is 11-year-old, while 13-year-old in the United States and Europe.
Sotto’s bill seeks to amend the sections 6, 20, 20-A, 20-B, and 22 of Pangilinan’s Juvenile Act, this will make a minor below 18 years of age but above 12-years-old during the commission of a crime be liable to their actions and will be subjected to necessary proceedings.
But in case the child is proven to do the illegal activity without his own judgment, he/she will be exempted from a criminal liability and will undergo intervention programs.
Sotto’s states that the minors could be held liable for crimes such as parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping, and homicide.
In case the suspect is between 9 to 12-years old, he will be placed in a special youth facility like Bahay Pag-Asa as stated under the Presidential Decree 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code.
When asked to comment about Sotto’s proposal, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte remains true to his position to lower down the age for criminal liability in the country.
“As the spokesperson of the President that is the President’s position, that the Pangilinan law contributed to the rise of criminality. And that’s why the House bill thus provide for measures to be taken against juvenile offenders, they will not get away scot-free,” Roque said.
supportado ng mga netizens ang naturang bill na gustong e file ni Senator Sotto.
Source: GMA News