Sotto, Lacson back bill lowering age of criminal liability but…
MANILA, Philippines — Is it ok for a 13-year-old minor to rape or kill?
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III raised this argument on Tuesday just hours before the Senate starts its deliberations on a bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the present 15 years.
Sotto has filed a bill, seeking to lower the age of liability to 12 years and above.
In the House of Representatives, the committee on justice passed a bill lowering the age of criminal liability to just 9 years.
“Panahon pa ni Quezon, 9 yrs old na criminal responsibility WHEN ACTING WITH DISCERNMENT. 12 yrs yun bill ko like most countries worldwide,” Sotto wrote on Twitter.
“Pag may nang rape o pumatay na 13 yrs old ok lang? Tell that to the parents of d victims,” the Senate leader added.
In a separate Twitter post, Senator Panfilo Lacson backed the proposal to lower the age of criminal liability but to a “certain level.”
“9 is too young,” Lacson said.
“However, provided that: the youth offender is proven to have acted with discernment; sentencing is suspended until the age of majority; enough and properly supervised reformative facilities, I support lowering the age of criminal liability to a certain level,” he added.
Sotto and Lacson both belong to the majority bloc in the Senate.
Other majority members, however, were either wary or against the lowering of age of criminal liability to 9 years like Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Nancy Binay.
Opposition members who are opposing the bill are Senators Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV. /muf
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