Sotto: Majority of senators OK to lower age of criminal liability
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III thinks that majority of senators would agree to lower the age of criminal liability from the current 15 years old.
But whether the age of criminality should be lowered to nine or 12 years old is another matter.
“The important thing is that we all agree that it should be lowered and they have to be held accountable,” Sotto said in an interview at the Senate on Monday.
Asked if she was referring to a consensus among senators, the Senate leader said: “Tingin ko, majority of senators.”
In the House of Representatives, the committee on justice approved a bill lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.
The House of Representatives justice panel approved on Monday a bill lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.
The House version however did not sit well with Sotto, who also has a pending bill proposing to lower the age of criminality to 12 years old and above.
“Baka sumobra,” Sotto said of the proposal to lower it to nine years old. “Baka siguro worse to come worst, baka pumayag ako sa 11 (years old).”
Under his bill, a child below 18 years but above 12 years of age at that time of the commission of the crime should be held criminally liable.
“Pero in the proposal that I’m making, hindi naman sa city jail ang tuloy nila e — sa Bahay Pag-asa,” he pointed out.
Sotto said he expects a debate on the issue since the chairman of the Senate committee on justice, Senator Richard Gordon, favors to lower the age of criminality to nine years old. /je
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