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Group fears new Congress may revive moves to lower age of criminal liability

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 01:53 PM June 06, 2019

Romeo Dongeto, convener of Child Rights Network. INQUIRER.net photo / Consuelo Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Child Rights Network (CRN) on Thursday expressed fear that the bill on lowering the minimum age of criminal liability (MACR) would be revived as the 18th Congress opens in July.

“Malamang sa Senado muling i-revive yung kanilang committee report na iniabot ni Sen. [Richard] Gordon,” CRN convener Romeo Dongeto said in a press briefing in Quezon City regarding the group’s opposition to lowering the age of criminal responsibility.

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“Ang dapat naming bantayan ay yung bilang. Yan po ang delikado ang bilang ng kongresista o senador na susuporta o di susuporta sa panibagong pagtangka,” he added, referring to a joint panel report that aims to lower the MACR from 15 years old to 12 years old.

READ: 11 senators sign report lowering age of criminal liability to 12

Dongeto also said some progressive groups in the House of Representatives that opposed the proposal failed to win in the 2019 May midterm polls.

“Ang kailangan sa [House of Representatives] kasi alam niyo may mga nawala na hindi pumasok na progressive na partylist and candidates sa district level na sana magiging kakampi natin sa 18th Congress,” Dongeto said, noting that one of the child rights advocate Akbayan Party-list group did not win in the congressional race.

Independent Senate

Dongeto, however, believes that some newly elected senators, who are backed by the Duterte administration, would not support the bill.

“Hindi masyadong problema ‘yun kung pag-uusapan yung kampanya natin because I believe there are also supporters of the President who will oppose the next attempt sa 18th Congress to lower the age of criminal responsibility,” Dongeto said.

Nine out of 12 newly elected senators endorsed by the Duterte administration are Imee Marcos; Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa; Christopher “Bong” Go; Francis Tolentino; Sonny Angara; Koko Pimentel; Bong Revilla; and Pia Cayetano. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

READ: New senators: We’re no rubber stamp

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TAGS: child rights, CRN, Local news, MACR, Philippine news update
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