Lacson: No bid to jail kids in crimes but they need ‘treatment, reformation’ |

Lacson: No bid to jail kids in crimes but they need ‘treatment, reformation’

/ 11:50 AM January 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday underscored the need to “treat and reform” children in conflict with the law and give “justice” to their victims, following the reported arrest of a 14-year-old boy for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.

READ: 14-year-old boy arrested for alleged rape of 13-year-old girl

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Lacson in a tweet also clarified that under the current law and Congress’ proposals to lower the age of criminal responsibility, the minor would not be jailed.

“The 14-year-old boy won’t be jailed. Nobody is proposing that,” the former Philippine National Police chief said.

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“But he needs treatment and reformation. The 13-yr-old girl needs justice and compensation. The ‘next victim’ needs protection,” he added.

Lacson earlier said he would support lowering the age of criminal liability if the offender acted with discernment, if sentencing would be suspended until the offender reached the age of majority, and if there were enough reformative facilities in the country.

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Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had filed Senate Bill No. 1603 seeking to lower the age of criminal liability to 12 years old, while Sotto filed SBN 2026 seeking to lower the age to “above 12 years old.” Both are pending at the Senate committee on justice.

READ: House, Senate tackle juvenile crime bills

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill No. 8858 that seeks to lower the age of “social responsibility” to 12 years old, and not nine as earlier proposed by the chamber.

READ: Amid public anger, House relents on criminalizing 9-yr-olds

The proposed law backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, would put children in conflict with the law in reformative institutions like Bahay Pag-asa.

But there are only 58 operational youth care facilities nationwide, House justice panel chair and Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon admitted.

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READ: Children in conflict with the law won’t be sent to ordinary prisons, Leachon clarifies

Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines convener Rom Dongeto and Bukidnon 3rd District Rep. Manuel Zubiri have likewise warned that under the “poor” justice system in the country, children in conflict with the law would end up in ordinary prisons.

Dongeto pointed out only 1.7 percent of total crimes could be attributed to minors.

READ: Jails for adults may doom youth offenders, says solon

Arroyo earlier admitted she only supported HB 8858 because “the President wants it.”  /kga

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TAGS: Crime, criminal liability, House Bill No. 8858, Justice, Juvenile, juvenile delinquent. Ping Lacson, Local news, Nation, national news, News, Philippine news updates, Politics, Senate Bill No. 1603, Senate Bill No. 2026
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