Pangilinan: Reform child offenders, nail organized crime gangs
MANILA, Philippines – The government must impose appropriate penalties for youth offenders and focus on arresting big-time criminals, Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Friday.
“The state should be [meting out] the appropriate penalty for the appropriate age. It should train its sights on the big, organized criminals, and let the children reform,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
The senator lamented that street children, who should be in schools, are being victimized by gangs.
“Nine-year-olds should be in Grade 3, learning in schools and receiving the proper love and care from their families,” Pangilinan said.
“Sadly, not all kids are fortunate to be in this situation. Many are in the streets, hungry, without shelter, fending for themselves and victimized by gangs and even men in uniform.”
Pangilinan also noted that “police records show that two percent of crimes in the Philippines involved children.”
He advised the police to focus on the more significant cause of crimes and not the tiny statistics of children in conflict with the law./gsg
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