Senate panel to recommend lowering minimum age of criminal liability to 12
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on justice being headed by Senator Richard Gordon would recommend lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from 15 years old to 12.
On Friday, Gordon’s panel terminated its hearings on the issue.
“Gagawin ko ‘yung recommendation ko… yes (lower it to 12),” he told reporters after the hearing.
Asked about the basis of lowering MACR to 12 years old, the senator said: “The world. We are not a highly developed country.”
The senator then enumerated the countries that have lower MACR like England, currently at eight years old, and Singapore, at seven years old.
The United States, Gordon said, does not even have a MACR.
“There’s no global consensus and all the developed countries ay mababa. Eh bakit naman tayo magmamagaling para lang sabihin sikat tayo?” he said.
Gordon also stressed that what is more important would be the amendments to be introduced in the existing law, and not the age.
When asked why amend the present 15 years old if the issue of age was not an issue, Gordon said, “Because that’s what I feel. I’m the chairman because that’s what I see…,” noting his earlier arguments that other countries have lower MACR.
“Ni-request ni President Duterte ‘yan eh. Hindi naman ako pasunod-sunod eh. Sabi pa nga nine eh. Sabi ko, hindi, 12 tayo. Bakit naman ako papayag na just because sinabi nila 15, 15? Eh di gawin na nating 18?” the senator further said.
It was not clear, however, if it was the President himself who wanted to lower the age of criminal liability to nine.
A similar proposal, lowering MACR to 12 years old was already approved on second reading at the House of Representatives. /kga
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