Bayan Muna: ‘Illogical’ to lower minimum age of criminal responsibility
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna party-list on Friday rejected proposals to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR), saying it is “anti-poor, anti-child, and anti-people.”
Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate asserted that children who are in conflict with the law are usually from poor families or communities.
“Talagang atake ito kung matutuloy itong amendment talagang anti-people ito, anti-poor, anti-child,” Zarate told INQUIRER.net on the sidelines of a prayer rally in Malate, Manila. The prayer rally was attended by various organizations, including religious groups, calling for lasting justice and peace in the country.
“Anti-poor (dahil) karamihan ng child at risk ay mahirap, katulad nitong libo-libong namamtay sa kampanya ng droga,” he added.
This, while the Senate committee on justice and human rights started debates on bills that seek to lower the minimum age of criminal liability.
According to Zarate, debates on MACR merely divert public attention from the more critical issues like the country’s economy.
“Nagtaka kami rito bakit binuhay ito. May pinagtatakpan kasi sa halip na direktang nakatutok ‘yung mamamayan sa krisis ng ekonomiya ngayon, nada-divert sa debate nila, dinadala tayo sa debate ng criminal responsibility,” he said.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo echoed Zarate’s position on the matter, even adding the proposed law to lower MACR was “illogical.”
He stressed that those who exploit children for crimes must instead be the target of the government.
“Taliwas ang takbo ng pagiisip nila. Illogical ang batas kasi ang dapat targetin nila ang nag-e-exploit sa bata hindi ‘yung bata,” Ocampo, who was also present in the rally, pointed out. Consuelo Marquez, INQUIRER.net /kga
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