Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2019 09:56:45 +0000
More than 12,000 minors were recorded to have been involved in various criminal activities since 2016, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Wednesday, amid heated debates on the proposal to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine-years-old.
Albayalde said more than 1,300 minors were involved in rape cases while more than 1,000 were recorded to be involved in the illegal drugs trade.
“The whole data that we have from 2016, we have more than 12,000. To be exact 12,139 minors who are involved in various crimes already. We have robbery, theft, physical injuries but the highest is rape with more than 1,300,” said Albayalde.
The PNP leadership has repeatedly expressed support to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine-years-old, citing past cases in which minors as young as five-years-old were involved in criminal activities.
The bill lowering the age of criminal liability has been approved in the House of Representatives. Some senators and local and international groups, as well as various celebrities, have vocally opposed the move.
Critics of the bill argued that children of such age are victims and need attention and care instead as they do not usually know what they are doing and in most cases, are even exploited by adults in criminal acts.
But Albayalde said the age of nine is not too young if similar laws in other countries would serve as the basis.
“Sabi ko nga hindi siguro too young kasi in other places may eight-years-old. Sa atin at the early age of five meron. Yung age bracket na mga na-i-involve sa crimes na mga bata we have young as five based on our records,” said Albayalde.
“We do not give the burden basically on children. Let us also look into the part on what we could do, like education which is very important. For instance, although the education is already free, we should compel these children to go to school and we compel their parents to bring their children to school also and we should put responsibility also to the parents,” he added. (Aaron Recuenco)