Lowering the age of criminal liability may result in more criminals rather than reduce crime.
Sen. Bam Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Youth, issued this warning in reaction to the incoming government’s plan to lower the criminal liability to 12 years old.
“With the current state of our justice system and the poor condition of our prisons and detention centers, placing a child with incarcerated criminals will likely encourage criminal leanings instead of rehabilitation,” he said.
Sen. Bam stressed that this proposal must be studied carefully because it may lead to more problems, rather than prevent crime.
Under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act or Republic Act 10630, children below 15 years old are exempted from criminal liability and can be released to the custody of his/her parents or may be referred to a youth care facility or “Bahay Pag-asa”.
“Rather than meting out full criminal liability to children, we can look at reforms improving our juvenile delinquency facilities or even adding penalties to their parents,” he added.
“These improvements and amendments are items the Committee can take up and study.”