Senators buck lowering offender’s age | Inquirer News

Senators buck lowering offender’s age

SENATORS Bam Aquino, Francis Pangilinan and Leila de Lima have balked at the prospect of legislating a measure filed by incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 years old to 9 years old.

Only incoming Sen. Panfilo Lacson has welcomed House Bill (HB) No. 2, agreeing to support a similar measure in the Senate to amend Republic Act No. 9344, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

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The controversial law was authored by Pangilinan who served as senator from 2001 to 2013. He has won a fresh six-year mandate in the May 2016 polls.

HB 2 titled, “Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Act,” which was co-authored by Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, sought to revert the minimum age of criminal liability from the current 15 years old to as young as 9 years old.

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In a text message on Thursday, Lacson underscored the need to “revisit” the 10-year-old Pangilinan law, particularly on the age of juvenile offenders.

“There are 12-year-old [children] who are being used as drug couriers. There’s at least one instance when a 12-year-old kid committed rape,” Lacson said by way of explaining his support for HB  2.

Pangilinan, for his part, conceded that minors who would commit crimes should be held accountable. However, he said that amendments to RA 9344 should not focus on the age of minors being used as accomplices but on the “context and circumstance of the crime.”

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TAGS: Bam Aquino, Crime, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Nation, News, offender’s age
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