Lawmakers disagree on treatment of young criminals

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto: Criminals becoming younger. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Disagreement over the age when youth criminal offenders should be penalized has marred the bicameral meeting where senators and members of the House of Representatives are ironing out kinks in a measure amending the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto said he and House members on the bicameral panel had wanted youth offenders 12 to 15 years old, who committed “heinous” and “major” crimes with prison terms at least 12 years, to be given the same sentences.

The House of Representatives also wanted to lower the age for youth offenders to be tried in court to 15 years old.

However, Sotto said the bill’s principal author, Senators Francis Pangilinan and Pia Cayetano, had insisted on pegging the age of youth offenders to be tried in court to 15 years old regardless of the gravity of the crime.

Cayetano is the chairperson of the Senate committee on women and youth.

Pangilinan earlier said the bill had exempted children 15 years old and below from criminal liability but not from civil liabilities.

It is the parents of juvenile offenders who would shoulder the civil liabilities incurred by the children.

Pangilinan acknowledged the impasse, saying in a text message that a “deadlock” occurred during the bicameral meeting Monday morning.

Sotto deplored the presence of representatives from the Commission on Human Rights during the bicameral meeting that should have been attended exclusively by lawmakers.

Sotto argued that the current situation required that laws be adjusted because criminal offenders in cases of murder, rape, drug trafficking and parricide were becoming younger.

He cited a case of a 12-year-old girl who was gang-raped by four boys 12 to 13 years old.

“Are they saying those boys did not have discernment? Those boys are now at home with their parents to whom authorities have turned them over. But what about that girl?” Sotto asked.

Sotto said he would convince Sen. Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice, to prevail upon Pangilinan and Cayetano to adopt the House version dropping the cutoff age for juvenile offenders to be meted criminal sentences to 12 years old.

Under the Senate bill, youth offenders would be imprisoned in a facility separate from adult criminals.

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  • w33k3nd3r

    That’s true Sotto, the age mode of criminals doing murder, rape, drug trafficking and parricide are much younger now! Those who commit plagiarism are around your age.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Drug dealers used these kids as ‘runners’. 
      Create jobs for the parents, free education for those who can’t afford and free lunch at  public school.  Catholic church has establish schools catered for the well to do but nothing for unfortunate children.

  • The Overlord

    Smart move, Sotto. You’re actually working for a change. :)

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      He remember what a bastardly act they did to the poor girl Pepsi. 

      • The Overlord

        Hala, baka natamaan na si Sotto ng guilt kahit sobrang kapal na ng mukha nya (figuratively and literally). Kitang kita naman sa news na gipit na si Manong Johnny: yung pag-smuggle nya sa Port Irene, ang pang-aahas nila ni Gigi, ang pamimigay ng bribe money, etc. Sotto knows he’s the next target, naturally. :)

  • i_am_filipino

    I agree. There were some reports that even 12 can get pregnant so I guess they are matured enough to know what is right and wrong. But we have to include, that this kids between 12 and 15 should get free lawyers because if they don’t, they will get abuse by the rich people.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Matalino ka ngunit kulang pa yata. Bakit nagkakaganoon mga bata ngayon, ano ang dahilan?  Hindi na sila religious? Ano ba ang data tungkol sa mga minor, mga naghihirap na kabataan lang ba gumagawa nito?  Sa balita mga batang magnanakaw ang maraming gumagawa ng krimen, ibig sabihin walang makakain.  Sa mga rapist naman, mga mayayamang kabataan ang palaging sangkot.

      Bakit hindi muna kayo mag research ng husto bako kayo gumawa ng batas.  Palaging ang mga mahihirap ang natatamaan.  Kinurakot na nga yung pera ng bayan para sana gamiting libreng pampaaral at libreng pagkain para sa mahihirap na Pilipinong kabataan sa paaralan. 
      Mga senador mismo ang unang magnanakaw, ano naman ang hatol sa mga ito?

  • Guest

    What about Vic, Joey and Ritchie D’Horsie? Binaboy nila si Pepsi Paloma when the victim was still a minor. There’s no gray area there. Bakit hindi nakasuhan at nabilanggo ang mga kriminal?

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Paano nangyari yun?  Bakit hindi bitay ang hatul sa Escalera brothers? 
      Malakas yata si Manong Johnny noong panahon.

      • Guest

        Namagitan si Tito Sotto nun. Medyo may konseksyon din sya kay JPE dati pa man din. Kaya naareglo, tapos formal apology lang, tapos tapos na. Swerte nga ng Escalaera brothers eh. Kung ngayon nangyari yan, hindi maaareglo yan.

      • bongarroyo

        e ano ba trabaho ni pepsi paloma noon?

        di kaya di lang  tumupad sa napagkasunduang bayad iyong tatlo kaya nagdemanda iyong isa.

      • Guest

        Si Pepsi ay kasama sa tinaguriang softdrink beauties ni Celso Ad Castillo. In short, bomba star. Kung natatandaan ko, nilasing sya ng tatlong itlog bago ginahasa. Nasa edad 15 – 16 pa lang sya nun, abandonadong anak ng US service men at Pinay sa bar.

        In Vic, Joey & Ritchie’s public apology, there was no mention of money:

        “We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you.” (People’s Journal, 13 October 1982)

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        Ganoon lang ba yun? Baka hindi, meron siguro coverup at saka maki-Marcos ang mga Escalera noong araw. Martial Law pa yata at wala talagang magawa si Pepsi laban sa mga elitista kagaya ng Escalera brothers.  Walang internet kaya suppressed talaga mga balita.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        Inggit yata sila sa beauty ni Pepsi.

      • koolkid_inthehouse

        A rape is a rape no matters who’s at the receiving end.

      • bongarroyo

        rape with consent…

    • Lagotka

      Yung ng rape ng minor gaya ni Jalosjos bitay! Lusot na ba si Tito, Vic, and Joey and Richie?

      • Guest

        Si Echegeray yata ang tinutukoy mo. Si Jalosjos buhay pa.

        Inareglo kasi ni Tito Sotto. A formal apology was issued by Vic, Joey & Ritchie:

        “We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you.” (People’s Journal, 13 October 1982)

      • Vincent

        “We hope that you will not allow the error we have committed against you to stand as a stumbling block to that future which we all look forward to. We therefore ask you to find it in your heart to pardon us for the wrong which we have done against you.” (People’s Journal, 13 October 1982)”

        Maski sino puedeng gamitin ang appeal-like plead na ito ano, ah? 
        Sino ang author nito, si sotto? May originality naman pala s’ya maski man lang pagdating sa kawalng-hyaan, e. lol!

    • F alonso

      Hindi pwedeng ikulong ang mga baboy sa kulungan ng tao.

      • kismaytami

        You made my day!

    • Vincent

      considered pa ata silang “minor” hangga ngayon, lalo na si vic sotto, dahil wala silang brain development. ibig sabihin, they remained INUTIL until today; and you don’t incarcerate inutils like those you mentioned. ibabangga nila ang mga ulo nila sa pader.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Why not asked the Catholic church to teach the children and parents about The Ten Commandments? Instead of putting the more kids into prison, blame the Catholic church not doing a good job teaching the children and parents.

    • The Overlord

      I’ll give you reasons: not everyone is a Catholic; not eveyone believes in the Catholic Church even if she/he is a Catholic, some are only a Catholic because his/her parents were, some left the Catholic faith, some are afraid of getting pedophiled by the priests…etc.

      You choose.

  • Political Jaywalker

    These people in the sinat etse senate are missing the point, it is about not throwing minors in conflict with the law in a jail cell with hardened criminals that is the bone of contention. But of course the skewed mentality of aping western standards without having the infrastructure that the west have will of course make it a big failure.

    First of all when they crafted the law someone should have reminded these high maintenance legislators that this law has to have youth detention centers with child psychologist to help rehabilitate these minors instead of jail where they can become hardened criminals. 2nd, it should be the judge who will determine if the minor in conflict with the law has to stand trial or not and not automatically released to their parents. Have they not heard that in the west minors committing heinous crimes are tried as adults? 

    And then we have Tito Sotto arguing the amendments of this law when his buddies were once accused of raping a minor truly makes you wonder if they are really capable of enacting laws that will serve justice?

  • Lagotka

    O, Iskul Bukol saan mo na naman na kopya yang sinasabi mo? Naiintindihan mo ba ang definition ng minor sa ilalim ng batas?

  • DGuardian

    Sa America, ang mga batang edad 12 pataas na gumagawa ng heinous crimes ay nililitis sa korte as adults. Dapat protektahan ng estado ang mga mamamayan mula sa mga kriminal . Ginagawang shield ng mga menor de edad ang pagiging bata nila sa mata ng batas para magsagawa ng mga krimen na alangan sa kanilang murang edad. Ginagamit din sila ng mga sindikato para sa pagnanakaw at iba pang klase ng krimen sa droga at imarami pang iba. Tama si Senador Sotto sa kanyang gustong pagbago ng range ng edad ng mga kabataang nagkasala. Kung nagagawa nilang mag-gang rape ng isang 12 anyos na bata., karapat-dapat lamang silang makulong ng mahabang panahon. Dapat ay magdagdag ng mga kulungan para sa mga menor de edad para hindi sila masama sa may edad na mga kriminal. Kina Senador Pangilinan  at Senadora Cayetano, ang rape victim na 12 anyos ay kabilang din sa mga mamamayan na dapat ninyong protektahan at bigyan ng katarungasn. Habang panahon nang wasak ang kanyang buhay at kinabukasan na nagsisimula pa lamang. Siya ang tunay na kahabag-habag at ang iba pa na future victims ng mga kabataang kriminal na 12 years old pataas.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      Check the stat first.  Why Filipino children committed crimes, which crime and geographic of the crimes.

  • farmerpo

    Crime if committed  by any person of any age is a crime. It is how the criminal is treated after conviction is what counts when age is of concern. Young people are exploited to do the crimes because they are exempted from prosecutions. Young people a breaking and entering with impunity like guided missiles without regards for the consequences. Many a times that the owner of properties broken into, were even hailed to court for ‘child abuse’ for defending their properties which in turn inflicted minor/major injuries to the young intruders. In effect, you cannot touch a thief if the thief is of age where he/she is exempt from prosecution, else, you suffer the consequences of a non bailable offense, child abuse. Guess who is the weaver and exploiter of the two ‘protective’ laws? In our part of the woods, prosecutors who bilk the victims of crimes by young criminals anywhere form PHP50K  to PHP300K depending on the degree of injury sustained by the young intruder. Let us all think about the wisdom and unintended consequences of these laws. Skul bukol logic is only for TV consumption, not for the real life . A viable learning center/rehabilitation facility should be considered for young offenders instead of exemption from prosecution.

  • boybakal

    “Pangilinan earlier said the bill had exempted children 15 years old and below from criminal liability but not from civil liabilities.
    It is the parents of juvenile offenders who would shoulder the civil liabilities incurred by the children. ”

    This is really a stupid law of Pangilinan.
    A minor criminal or offender 15 years below exempted from criminal liability and the parents the civili liability.
    15 years old is not anymore a child, he is already an adult though teenager.
    If he commits a crime, he knows what he is doing.
    And how could a parent be liable in civil liability if the parents have nothing to pay the liability.
    Really nonsense and stupid.

    In the US, children who commit crimes are locked up in the facility and when reaches the age of 18 is tried as an adult.
    Or if the child who commits crime knows what he is doing in committing a crime is tried as an adult.

    Pangilinan is out of touch in reality.
    His crusade is a useless crusade, it will only bear more crimes and crimes if these young offenders are not tried for the consequences of her or his act.

  • speedstream2

    “Enlightenment” sounds nice and all, but things take a different twist when you, a relative or a friend become the victims too. Justice is best served when it is guided by the oft-quoted dictum: you do the crime, you do the time. Sure, simple may not be really simple, but it’s certainly a lot better than complicated.

  • kurakut

    dapat maranasan nina pangilinan ang kasamaan dulot ng 12 – 15 taon gulang na batang lansangan.  

  • boybakal

     “It is the parents of JUVENILE OFFENDERS who would shoulder the civil liabilities incurred by the children…according to Pangilinan Bill.”

    I agree with this only if it is Juvenile Offenders.
    How about Juvenile Criminals….say one who commits murder or rape.
    There should be distinction between Juvenile Offender or Juvenile Criminals.
    Juvenile offender might commit only minor infraction whereas a Juvenile criminal might commit heinous crimes.

  • Joaquin Fernandez

    Similar to the RH bill, lawmakers are posturing on which side is more popular, which side would boast image and rating and not what is applicable and right. Just like the RH bill, those who oppose heavier sanctions for minors offer no corrective measures to address the problem. There is just no workable alternative or solution yet for those resisting both RH law and this plan to give stiffer penalty to minors for the problem of poverty, irresponsible parenthood, lack of education and juvenile crimes.

  • wawa2172

    An offender is different from a criminal. The first could just be involved in petty crimes but the second could have done heinous crime. As far as age is concern, I would go for lowering the age of criminals as recommended in the house version. Pangilinan law is simply stupid that it protects the juvinele criminals rather than the victims. Just recently my home was ransacked by burglars age 10 to 15 with one caught with a 6″ knife. Our house was the first of the two houses that they ransacked during that  day. The other is a house whose owner teenager girl child  was at home during the incident. She was traumatized by the incident because she saw one of the burglar holding a knife and ready to attacked anyone who block his way. Mabuti na lang at sobrang tibay nang door nang batang babae who was able to locked herself in her room. Nahuli  ang apat na mag nanakaw but was released to their parents after informing the police of their ages. Police records shows na pabalik balik na ang mga magnanakaw sa police station.

  • ygcer

    i agree.  bring down the age of accountability from 15 to 12 year old.  this will lessen the crimes committed in our country, especially in metro manila.  and this will also protect the human rights of the victims.  

    and while at it, the government should set up detention centers for these young offenders where basic education, good moral values as well as livelihood training/skills will be taught to them

  • Horst Manure

    Why bother they will be dead by the time the Courts are ready.

  • Shalani

    me sindikato yata yang pangilinan na yan, mga batang hamog

  • eirons1043

    I would recommend to lower it further to 10 yrs old as minimum. Grade 4 na po bale ang edad 10 at sa edad na iyan eh kayang kaya napong umakyat ng bubong, puno, bakod, poste at manaksak at mabilis na pong tumakbo. Ang kailangan po talaga eh hiwalay na kulungan at lugar hindi iyong hiwalay nga eh pareho rin ng compound. Baka ikatwiran na naman eh walang pondo eh bilyones ang raket sa pork barel at kita naman sa EVAT.

  • divictes

    I think it will take a 10-year-old wielding a homemade shotgun to pop Sen. Kiko out of his bubble of blissful ignorance.

  • verconti

    ai salamat may sinabi rin sotto na may sense…

  • verconti

    Pangilinan was blatantly and repeatedly challenged by Duterte to visit Davao for a debate regarding the current juvenile system but was too coward to face the Mayor.. 

  • vir_a

    What if crimes are committed against the young children of Pangilinan and his relatives, would he still not change his mind. Children aged 12 and above are now more intelligent and mature than those of their age decades ago due to advanced communication and media technology.

  • Albert

    The issue is knowing right from wrong. If a child is determined to know what he did is wrong, then he and his parents should be punished.
    Too many derelict parent let their rats run wild all hours of the night and should be made to pay for their reckless behavior. The barangays should also be held liable for not enforcing their own curfews and fined accordingly.

  • Jack Phalaphitac

    Pleasantly surprised to see Tito Escalera on what I think is the right side of the mahjong table.

    Well and good, lower it from 15 to 12, there’s not much difference on these ages anyway for these juveniles to know the right from wrong. Unless they weren’t taught good manners and right conduct by their parents from the the start.  

    If the parents of these so called juvenile offenders cannot lead their children to the right path, vanish these offenders from the society for a given time. Confine them to a facility exclusive to them where they can be rehabilitated, till they’re deemed fit to rejoin the mainstream again. Well, whatever else they become after rehab is another story. There’s still a lot of years ahead of them anyway.

    Paraphrasing  CSN&Y, teach these children well. Teach their parents well, too.

  • geminimind

    Why are prisons called correctional facility?are we really doing enough for prisoners to cope up on being corrected?
    For criminals 15 and younger should be institutionalised away from a correctional facility.In other words ,they should be allowed to go to school just the same but inside their prison cell.
    And the victims will have a different institution away from both on how to cope up with everyday life even though they were victims.

  • Diego Austria

    If Pangilinan and PIA screams for the right of these minors who is representing the right of the majority to remain safe and get justice when minors are involved? Some cases are even dismissed because a minor was caught. Sotto is correct the provision should be 12, alam na nila na mali ang ginagawa nila. May mga isip na ang mga batang yan.

  • Jesusa

    Again, too much rumors on Pepsi Paloma. Have some respect for the dead. Nandun ba kayo ng mangyari ang krimen?

  • InSearchOfTruth

    if a 12 yr old tries to forcibly come into my house without an invitation, i will blast his head with a 12-gauge.  to h e l l  with the chr!  i will protect my family first, which obviously the government cannot do!

  • Darwin

    why are the rights of the criminal more important than the rights of the victim? is the guilt of the society always going to be the excuse? because if we keep giving these juveniles a free pass, then we will be enabling them. In the 60s, juveniles were not this troublesome, why? because if they commit a crime, their parents will beat them to becoming right. instead we have stolen the power of parents to discipline their kids because they will be charged with child abuse. if that is the case, then we have to make a choice. stop coddling them!

  • Isha Carandang

    This time Sotto is right. Criminals are indeed getting tougher and heartless at a very young age.

  • Roy Vergara

    12 year old kids might have a chance to rethink their position once this law is amended. A strong deterrent against manipulative adults.

  • Stead

    A question to mr senator noted pangilinan: ano kaya ang mararamdaman mo kung re-rape-in ang iyong mga anak na si frankie at mariel at pagkatapos ay walang awang pagsasaksakin ng mga batang gangster na edad 12 hanggang 15? papayag ka bang isauli lang sa kanilang mga magulang ang mga kriminal na menor de edad?

  • Guest

    Mga Katoto:

    It’s good Tito Sotto has even bothered to think of how to treat young criminals. But if we go a few decades back, how did Tito Sotto treat Pepsi Paloma who was raped by Tito Sotto’s brother Vic, and Joey and Ritchie D’Horsey? Considering Pepsi Paloma was just 15 or 16 at the time of the rape.

    Here are a few references that might help:

    01. How did Tito Sotto, Panfilo Lacson and Juan Ponce Enrile cross path in 1982 and got involved in the case of the Pepsi Paloma’s rape?


    02. A short intro on the life and death of Pepsi Paloma


    03. Newspaper clippings on Pepsi Paloma’s death and what drover her to commit suicide.




    To those of you who are wondering why Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon are still on television despite having raped a minor, perhaps JPE can shed some light on the matter. What we do know is Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and Ritchie D´Horsey were never executed for the crime they committed.

  • Chester

    Ang mga pumapapel dyan mga taga CHR and DSWD. Pero wala naming silang masabi sa mga victims kung hindi SORRY. Pinaglalaban niyo ang karapatan ng mga menor de edad na criminal pero wala man lang nagiisip sa mga nagging biktima nila. Maling konsepto naman ata yan.

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