The House of Representatives approved on second reading yesterday the bill lowering the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old instead of 9 years old, Rep. Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Partylist) said.
Paduano, who is an ex-officio member of the House Justice Committee that earlier approved the lowering of age to 9, said it was changed to 12.
The phrase “criminal responsibility” was also changed to “social responsibility,” for the purpose of amending Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, said Paduano, who is from Negros Occidental.
The house expects to pass the bill on third reading next week before Congress adjourns on February 7.
Under the proposed measure, a child in conflict with the law would not spend jail time, but in youth care facilities called “Bahay Pag-asa”, Paduano said earlier.
Negrense senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan, who was in Bacolod City yesterday, said the law should be harsh on parents whose children commit crimes.
“There are no delinquent children, only delinquent parents… Prevention is important, not reaction,” he said.
“What’s the point in parental responsibility, if you can’t hold parents responsible?” Alunan said.*
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