Tañada vows to take age of criminal liability issue to SC
MANILA, Philippines — Former Deputy Speaker and senatorial candidate Erin Tañada has vowed to question the constitutionality of the bill lowering the age of criminal liability to nine years old if it passes through the Senate.
Tañada said after an Aksyon Demokratiko event in San Juan on Monday that he is ready to bring the issue before the Supreme Court.
“Kung ito ay, for some source of unexplainable and stupid wisdom, passes the Senate, ilalaban po namin ‘yan sa Korte Suprema para sabihin na ito ay talagang labag sa ating Konstitusyon,” he said.
(If this, for some source of unexplainable and stupid wisdom, passes the Senate, we will bring this fight to the Supreme Court to show that this is against our Constitution.)
“As a human rights lawyer I am against it,” he added.
The House of Representatives’ justice panel earlier approved the bill, amid opposition from non-government organizations and lawmakers.
The measure, according to the House leadership, is considered a priority legislation since it is a part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda.
Tañada, who is running under the “Otso Diretso” slate, said that if he were a member of the 17th Congress, and if he was still the chair of the House committee on human rights, the measure would have not been approved.
“I’ve been the chairman of the committee on human rights sa (at the) House of Representatives before being the deputy speaker, kung ako nandoon, eh syempre talagang haharangin ko ‘yan (I would have opposed that),” Tañada claimed.
“They may have arguments that it’s constitutional, there are also arguments that we can say is unconstitutional because it is an imposition of a cruel and unjust punishment to a nine-year-old,” he added.
Other personalities including Vice President Leni Robredo, former National Youth Commissioner and actor Dingdong Dantes, and Tañada’s fellow Otso Diretso candidates such as Senator Bam Aquino and Samira Gutoc have also voiced their opposition to the proposal. /ee