Beng wants crime groups using children neutralized Print
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:51

Mayor Beng Climaco would want the police to neutralize criminal syndicates using children rather than reducing the maximum age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 years old.

Climaco told the press briefing yesterday that during her stint in congress she was one of those who co-sponsored a bill lowering the age of criminal liability of children but it did not pass through the committee level.

“This issue is something the children’s and women’s rights advocates are really against,” she said, but added that based on realities on the ground it is very unfortunate that the children are victims of circumstances.

She said the children involved in criminal activities were merely used by syndicates, taking advantage of their innocence and could easily get away with criminal liability.

“Para comigo necesita man intensify el di aton police to arrest the criminals, particularly the adults or syndicates using children in criminal acts,” the mayor said.

The House Justice Sub-Committee on Correctional Reforms is reviewing six bills seeking to amend the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

The bill acknowledged that the existing 2006 law was “laudable” in its intent to protect the youth. But it failed to deter criminals from using children in crimes such as drug trafficking and robbery.

However, these proposals to lower the age of culpability were rejected by the Department of Social Welfare and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), claiming that lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility failed to curb crime rates.

The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation also disagreed with the lawmakers’ proposals to lower the age of criminal culpability to nine, and favored the age of 12. This is based on the emotional, intellectual, and mental maturity of the child, they said.-(Vic Larato)