Creation of courts to try juvenile offenders pushed
Assistant House Majority Leader Bernadette Herrera-Dy on Sunday pleaded with her colleagues in the House of Representatives to put enough safeguards in the draft measure lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to 9 years old.
Despite her opposition, Dy acknowledged that House Bill No. 505, filed by Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap, had already gained the support of a number of House members, including Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Bagong Henerasyon party-list representative pushed the creation of juvenile courts, which would have “original and exclusive jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases” against youth offenders, to help protect children from abuse.
Moreover, Dy said the proposed law must mandate the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to take the primary role in helping youth offenders.
Specifically, Dy said the DSWD should deploy a social worker in each police station in the country to provide round-the-clock assistance to arrested youth offenders.
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