Robredo: Help young offenders instead of punishing them
MANILA, Philippines — With the House of Representatives ready to tackle the bill lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to 9, Vice President Leni Robredo called on lawmakers to help young offenders improve their lives instead of punishing them.
“Sa ating mga kasamahan na mga mambabatas, iyong lowering the age of criminal liability, maawa naman po tayo sa ating mga kabataan,” she said in her weekly BISErbisyong Leni show aired over AM radio station DZXL on Sunday. “Imbes na parusahan natin sila, tulungan natin. Tulungan natin na makapag-bagong buhay.”
[To our lawmaking colleagues who want to lower the age of criminal liability, have pity on our youth. Instead of punishing them, let’s help them. Let’s help them start a new life.]
The Vice President described the bill as “very painful” – “napakasakit sa dibdib niyan.”
Robredo said that the government should instead shift its focus on fully implementing existing laws on on juvenile delinquency rather than allowing younger offenders to be charged with crime.
“Admittedly, para sa akin napakagandang batas. Pero iyong pagkukulang nito, sa implementasyon,” she said. “Iyong kakulangan ng ating mga ahensya na tugunan iyong intensyon sana ng batas.”
[The exisiting laws are good. They just lack implementation. Our agencies are not responsive to following the intentions of the law.]
The House Committee on Justice is set to tackle the measure — House Bill No. 505 – in the coming week.
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