PNP chief wants crime offenders age lowered


Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome. INQUIRER file photo

Children 15 years old and up should be made accountable for their crimes, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome, as he pushed for changes to the Juvenile Justice Law.

Speaking at a forum at Camp Crame, Bartolome said the PNP would urge Congress to amend the law to lower the legal age of discernment that would otherwise exempt minors from criminal liability.

Republic Act No. 9344, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, states that all children in conflict with the law aged 15 and below and those above 15 but below 18, who acted without discernment, are exempted from criminal liability.

“At the PNP, we have observed younger and younger children committing crimes. We see this in our statistics and in our investigations. I am in favor of lowering the age that a child may face criminal charges,” Bartolome said.

He said in initial talks with representatives and senators, the PNP had been lobbying for an amendment to the age requirement.

“In fact, there have been proposals to lower it further to 12 years old. That’s really young. But I favor 15,” Bartolome said.

The newly installed PNP chief cited recent cases involving children in violent crimes, such as the 13-year-old boy who shot and killed his 16-year-old male friend at a shopping mall in Mexico, Pampanga, before turning the gun on himself last week, and a 15-year-old boy who admitted to robbing, raping and nearly killing his former employer in Sta Rosa, Laguna.

“Perhaps, this will require more discussion and debate in  Congress, but right now, we’re in favor of 15 years old,” Bartolome said.

He said children in conflict with the law were either being used by syndicates or were committing the crimes on their own volition, “meaning, they are already acting with discernment.”

“In either case, we still believe that the child should be meted some form of  punishment,” he said.

The worst case, he said, was when the child’s own parents would push him or her to commit the crime.

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  • Anonymous

    it is just hope that the new PNP chief bartolome is a lawyer,  like the “juvenile justice law” sponsor, the “megastar politician” lawyer sen kiko pangilinan so they can debate on the stupidity & idiocy of his sponsored law, ha!  tsk, tsk, tsk,  the international jurists are deeply annoyed on how on earth such law was conceived by a lawyer, ha, ha, ha? they’re only defense was that if the country is crimeless and all inhabitants are above 18 years of age, ha, that is possible?

  • Anonymous

    Yan juvenile law ay hango pa sa spanish time law. Kasi ginagamit ng mga katipunero ang mga bata nuon sa pagpapadala ng mga mensahe sa kanilang mga kasama laban sa mga kastila nuon.  Fastforward, Ngayon ginagamit sila ng sindikato sa paggawa ng krimen. At tinuruan pa sila tungkol dito sa juvenile law na hindi sila makukulong hanggat hindi sila 18.  Dapat lang na ipatupad hanggang sa 9 yrs. old.  Ang sentensya sa krimen ay dapat ipatupad, kaya lang pagbelow 18 ito ay dapat sa magulang. pagwala ang magulang ang nakatatandang kapatid hanggang sya na lang ang huli at kailangan pagdusaan nya ang nagawa nyang pagkakamali. Sa ganitong paraan sa tingin ko ay mapipilitan alagaan at turuan ng mabuti ng kanilang mga magulang ang kanilang mga anak.

  • Anonymous

    I would even make an argument that even kids as young as 12 are capable of committing calculated crimes. How about if we had a separate tribunal that considers the criminal act and determines if it’s one made with rational judgment or one that’s just due to a child being a child?

    I, for one, am sick of juveniles who have full knowledge of the crimes they did going home scot-free because of technicalities. Perhaps repeat offenders should automatically be given less shrift the next time they’re caught.

  • Raul Matienzo

    The PNP, together with DSWD, and other related agency should study first some factors about children committing crimes. They should make first profiling the children committing crimes. For me, it is the environment, as well as the movies that has been shown to some children. It is not the fault of the children but the adults.

  • scotty

    If you act as an adult doing crimes, then you should be held accountable as an adult would.

  • Gilbert Espinosa

    I agree. It’s about time that we reverted to the old rules. While we are bound by international treaty on this matter the reality is many of these children in conflict with the law act with discernment. Most petty crimes committed by these juveniles such as celfone snatching could have only been done with discernment. Most also are involved with mauling. Discernment comes into play only when the crime is really a complex one where it is hard to tell right from wrong like maybe malversation or rebellion.

  • Anonymous

      Why not look up to our  Asian neighbors the way they  act on this kind of crimes?Singapore and Malaysia has public lashings on petty crimes committed and they have a capital punishment.They have a low crime rate for that. Also put this teens to good use, Singapore and Korea has a strict compliance that they should  complete a military service.It  motivates nationalism and self- discipline to the teens.In my college years we had ROTC but to march under the sun in the weekends was never invigorating.Better to define the age requirement for their service and really do the regimen that military does.Go to camp and serve the to which branch  of the armed forces they would be assigned.
       Strict government may not be liked by many but the outcome would benefit the greater good.

  • Anonymous

    No one is too young to be punished. Children committing crimes as adults would should be punished just as severely as their adult counterparts and their punishment should be made public to go with it. Then, and only then will people think twice about doing what they did.

  • Anonymous

    si Kiko isang istupido senador gumawa ng isang istupido batas, di ka naman tatawagin Kiko kung hindi ka istupido di ba? whats the difference pag hinoldap at napatay ka ng isang minor (17 yr old) at ng isang 30 yr old (adult) wala!!! kahit sino sa kanila pumatay sa iyo eh Patay ka rin. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the PNP proposal of crime offenders age lowered. My house was ransacked by young kids whose mastermind is our neighbor 15 years of age. There were six of them, 10 to 12 years of age, who forcibly open our back door and rob personal items inside my home. Even the refrigerator was not spared, they carried it over our neighbor fence, cannibalized and sold the parts in a junkyard nearby. All of them were apprehended after being caught stealing the electrical service line also in one of the neighborhood. Kinanata nila ang pagnanakaw sa bahay ko on questioning done by the police. They were blottered but release afterwards to their parents because they were minor offenders. One was caught with a six inch knife who claimed that he will use it to defend himself if cornered or apprehended. I was informed by the police that it was not the first time they were caught stealing and armed with deadly knife. I don’t have a gun but planning to have one, I have to defend myself too when needed to protect myself and my family.

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