PNP supports Sotto’s bill that seeks to lower a minor’s criminal liability

Published October 1, 2018, 3:38 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Aaron Recuenco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be supporting the bill of Senate President Tito Sotto that seeks to lower the criminal liability of a minor.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III gestures after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)

From the current age of 15, Senate Bill 2026 of Sotto is pushing for the amendment of the Republic Act 9344 by lowering the criminal liability exemption to 13.

“We are supporting the proposal of the good senator. We are just getting inputs from the different regions and legal service,” Albayalde said.

The inputs from regional offices are expected to collect police data that will help boost the arguments of those pushing for the lowering of the age of criminal liability.

The Chief PNP argued that in some countries for instance, the exemption is even much lower: six to 10 years old in some European and African countries.

It was Sen. Kiko Pangilinan who authored the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, or RA 9344.

But recently, President Duterte has repeatedly criticized Senator Pangilinan, saying criminal accountability should be lowered since some children are already involved in various criminal activities.

In some viral videos for instance, some street children were seen engaged in beating up people and robbery and theft along the streets.

Local and international groups, however, have been opposing the plan, saying doing so would absolve the accountability of the parents who are supposed to guide children of such age.

But for Albayalde, the PNP knows best on the aspect of criminal activities involving children.

“I think we fully support the lowering of age of criminal responsibility,” Albayalde said.

The PNP Legal Service is also expected to come up with official position of the PNP on the issue.