PNP backs lowering age of criminal liability to 12

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde Rappler

The Philippine National Police (PNP) backed the proposal of Senate President Vicente Sotto III to lower the age of criminal liability to 12 years old.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that in some countries, children who commit crimes were at least six years old.

“We’re supporting that proposal of the good senator. We’re just getting inputs from the regions and the legal service, perosinusuportahannatinyungpanukalana ‘yon (but we are supporting that proposal),” Albayalde said in a press briefing.

Sotto earlier filed Senate Bill 2026 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9344, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, that exempts children 15 years old and below from being jailed.

In filing the bill, Sotto said the number of children getting involved in crime, including those related to the illegal drug trade, was continuing to increase.

“In other countries walangasilang limit (they don’t have limit),” Albayalde said.

Meanwhile, some groups, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), slammed the proposal, saying that the basis for filing the bill was “flawed.”

Unicef said that children who commit crimes are only victims of poverty and lack of a caring environment.