Senate OKs amendment to juvenile justice act


The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill amending the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, so that  offenders 15 years old and younger would remain exempted from criminal liability but would be made to face the civil consequences of their crimes.

Senate Bill No. 3324, under Committee Report No. 463 cosponsored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, also requires the release of young offenders to the custody of their parents, but they will be placed under a community-based “intervention program” supervised by the local social welfare and development officer.

The Senate also passed on third and final reading this week a bill imposing stiffer penalties on people driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and another bill prescribing penalties for illegally tapping into cable television and Internet facilities.

“Children who are 15 years of age or under [at the time of commission of the crime will] not be exempt from civil liabilities. Liability of parents for quasi delicts and felonies committed by their minor children is direct and primary and not subsidiary,” said lawyer Cecile Palines, a member of Pangilinan’s staff.

Palines said that should the amendment pass, the parents or guardians exercising parental authority over teenage offenders would be responsible for the restitution, reparation and indemnification for consequential damages.

“If the child committed theft, he or she is obliged to return the thing he or she has stolen. If it is not possible to return what he or she has stolen, the parents should pay the amount equivalent to what the child has stolen,” Palines said.

Pangilinan said Republic Act No. 9344, or the juvenile justice law, aims to protect the welfare of children in conflict with the law, majority of whom are guilty of minor crimes such as petty theft, vagrancy and sniffing glue.

“Prior to the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, children in conflict with the law were thrown into the same prison cells as hardened criminals. Studies show that most of them were first-time offenders, while eight percent committed crimes against property,” Pangilinan said.

“These children are then doomed to a life of crime, rendering them victims of a judicial system that inadvertently breeds criminals,” he added.

Senate Bill No. 3365, or the proposed Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2012 sponsored by Sen. Gregorio Honasan, has also passed final reading in the Senate.

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  • CrusaderNoRegret

     “If the child committed theft, he or she is obliged to return the thing
    he or she has stolen. If it is not possible to return what he or she has
    stolen, the parents should pay the amount equivalent to what the child
    has stolen”–SO MAGKANO DANYOS KUNG MURDER O RAPE?? Maibabalik nyo pa ba yung buhay o dangal nung biktima? Nothing worse that short-sighted, pandering, bleeding heart politicians….

    • Busilak Argawanon

      Dapat sana kay sen.kiko yong mga anak nya ang maka ranas nito pra matauhan sya.

  • Hunyo 15

    Our senators failed to consider that knowingly committing a crime even if under fifteen (15) years of age should make “children” in conflict with the law liable for the penalties of the crimes they commmitted to include the civil liailities of parents or guardians. We are faced with youthful offenders who do not fear our laws and do not have respect for the lives of others. What of recidivists or the repeat offenders?CrusaderNoRegret is correct. What of rapists and murderers?

    • Daniel Nielsen

      a nine year old girl was gang raped by a bunch of teenage boys. they were sent home so they could do it again

  • Paul

    kung ang mga batang ito ay nakagagawa ng krimen, bakit hindi sila ikulong. being a minor is not an excuse…

  • divictes

    Patented formula for anarchy. Kiko ka talaga.

  • ygcer

    another defective law (just like the anti-cyber crime law and the law exempting daily wage earners from income tax) passed by our “highly educated” senators.   

    did they even think that the law could easily be circumvented just by a simple claim by these juvenile offenders that they are already orphans or that they don’t know who their parents are because they were abandoned at an early age?  what happens now to their criminal/civil liabilities?   

    and what happens if the parents could not afford to pay the full amount of the items stolen?  

    and just as crusadernoregret commented, what happens if the crime involves physical harm, the loss of life and/or dignity? anu? sorry na lang ba?

    • George

      dude, this is ideal and effective only if we are a developed country. this law been working  in developed european countries, usa and canada. the problem with pinas, is 80% of college graduate kuno but barely educated. in order words we are barely civilzed.

      • George

        i mean “in other words, we are barely civilzed”.

  • beer_leader

    pag di makabayad mga batang k riminal si Senatong Kiko matsing dapat ang magbayad.pag nakagawa naman ng mas matinding offense ang mga bata,Si Senatong Kiko matsing pa rin ang dapat ikulong para maprotekahan ang mga alaga niya

  • justjarred

     Pagnakapatay ang 15 anyos na bata e walang gagawin ang gobyerno kundi pagsabihan lang ito.Makukuha ba ang hustisya ng namatayan kung pagsasabihan lang ang nakapatay? Ni hindi man lang ba ito parurusahan sa ginawa nyang kasalanan? Medyo naguluhan lang din  . . .  Hindi kasi ako abogado e

  • kalealaskador

    Many of these children are being used by syndicates to commit the crime because the members of the syndicate know that when caught, these children will eventually be released to commit more crime! The parents should not be held responsible for these criminal deeds by their children. Many of these parents do not know that their children are being used by syndicates! The law must provide for very stiff penalties for adults who use children to commit a crime. In fact they should be given the death penalty! They are the ones who are teaching children in their formative years to lead a life of crime. Also those children who are apprehended more than once for the same crime must be dealt with severely. They were already told it was wrong but did not heed the lesson.

  • dxdaistar

    kiko should not have been involved in this amendment. he is blinded by the fact that minors who commit crimes will still get away with their crimes. he thinks he is in the US or Europe…and he is stupid from the start of this juvenile law. And now the senate just OKs? we need to change the senators to a new breed who are aware of the facts of life in the Philippines. It does not also answer what if the the minor’s crime is murder or homicide?

  • carlos_premacio

    it was alleged that about four years ago in a local press briefing here in Davao, Senator Pangilinan was asked on what will be his reaction if and when one of his beautiful kids is raped by a 10-year old kid. The law that he authored says that the kid is exempted and will remain free and wll be returned to their parents. He never responded to that question. 

    The law should have been passed only after Congress pass a law requiring all Provinces, Cities and Muncipalities have their own Youth Center where minors in conflict with laws shall be held in custody until they will reach 18 instead of being returned to their parents. Upon reaching 18, the minor should be transferred to the prison cell. 

    No person should be above the law. 

    Because of this law, organized crimes are now using minors in gun for hire, robbery, drug pushing and all criminal activities. Pangilinan never included in his law increasing the penalty of any person using minors in committing crimes. 

    Pangilinan, like Shawie, is always out of the loop. Noted. 

  • dtszero_cool

    - requires the release of young offenders to the custody of their parents,
    but they will be placed under a community-based “intervention program”
    supervised by the local social welfare and development officer.

    So ano yong community based intervention program? Pangilinan has really no grasp for reality. Will that’s another term for idiots…

  • boybakal

    “If the child committed theft, he or she is obliged to return the thing he or she has stolen. If it is not possible to return what he or she has stolen, the parents should pay the amount equivalent to what the child has stolen,” Palines, a staff of Pangilinan said.

    This is stupid…Stupid law.
    How could the parents pay if they have no money to pay…can there be promissory note or utang muna.
    As we know only poor kids from poor families steal…how could there be restitution if they have nothing.

    This law is flawed…how could there be civil liability if the child is exempt from criminal liability
    On the other hand, if the question is,  child criminals is put behind bars with adult criminals, solution is build facility for young offenders and not be exempt from crime for being young.

    As far as I know, in other countries like US, young criminals are put in detention facility.
    They are tried as adult depending on the gravity of the offense.
    Or they are put in a facility and tried when they reach 18.

    The problem is …in Pangilinan law, child offender 15 and below who commits crime like murder is automatic exempt from crime..
    That is a very stupid law indeed.

    • mumbaki ak

       you speak like the U.S. prison system is a model for emulation. it’s in fact flawed to the core.

      • Daniel Nielsen

        compared to here

  • KurakotNaPinoy

    Another stupid law from useless lawmakers…

    We need juvenile detention facilities for the underage criminal.

  • divictes

    This Kiko-kiko law is no law. This is the script of Sharon’s next tearjerker inadvertently sent to the senate.

  • FernandoBusi

    Most of these kids are runaways or have parents who are barely able to feed them. What restitution can you expect in a civil case. And dapat dyan i repeal yung batas, kaso mapapahiyang lang si LP Pangilinan. If hes blaming poverty as the cause for first time offenders mabuti cguro wag na syang tumanggap ng extra MOOE.

  • TheSmilingBandit

    My my my, I just have to adore the rose-colored glasses that Kiko wears to view the world in such beautiful colors. Of course, the fact that he lives in an exclusive village with so many armed guards means he will probably never have to worry about these “kids” raping his kids or stealing his stuff.

    Oh woe to the average Juan, who is not as protected as he.

  • mumbaki ak

    I don’t quite get the hostility on the matter above. Prison is not for kids. 

  • magarito

    wirdong batas ito. kahit saan mo tingnan ung kinse anyos gahasain ang kasing edad nia o mas bata sa kanya. o chopchopin nia. tpos hindi ikukulong,nasan ang hustisya ng batas na ito? mas matatanggap ko pa kung yung magulang ang ipakulong e.

    d ba may kulungan para sa mga babae? dapat may kulungan para sa mga bata.

  • j1u2a3n

    How can the outside world, particularly the environment where these youth offenders grew up in, be any better than detention facilities in protecting “the welfare of children in conflict with the law?” If they don’t want them to be “thrown into the same prison cells as hardened criminals,” then they should have detention facilities of their own. The main objective is to keep them out of the streets. We protect their welfare and the welfare of others is protected as well. 

  • ryepim

    That was Kiko’s dumbest act yet… He made this law while watching Batibot…

  • generra

    so if the 15 years old killed the president, wala lang? what a useless law! dapat dyan, pagdating nya ng tamang edad, dun sya ikulong!

  • Dodie

    eh kung magahasa kaya ng 15yo anak nyang babae tapos patayin pa ganyan pa din kaya gusto nya mangyari? palibhasa kasi hndi umaalis na walang bodyguard mga anak nila eh.

  • kismaytami

    Nakaka-adik na pala ang glue, anong tatak? Elmer’s?

  • tyrelhro

    I agree with the amendment. Being a victim of such, I can only stare blankly into space after the crime.

  • Political Jaywalker

    This is a good amendment but may fall short because Barangays and a social worker are not exactly expert on rehabilitating a minor criminal offender. The amendment must include a child psychologist if they want to really reform the child and let the parents take care of the cost. Bottom line is until our politicians stop breaking the law and disrespecting the constitution by failing to legislate an enabling law on political dynasty it will be very difficult to have law abiding citizens when others are not answerable for their misdeeds.

  • Ben Smith

    This is not an amendment — its already under the law. Parents are civilly liable and the CICL has to undergo intervention program. And that is where the problems with this law come in. This law in effect mandates social workers and barangay officials the task of crime prevention and law enforcement which is very dangerous. This law failed to consider social control, and merely focused on welfare approach which is effectively subjecting children and CICL to community backlash!

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