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Philippine Lawmakers Seek to Make Children Criminals

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on January 21, 2019 20:31

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A new low to Philippine Congress as the House Committee on Justice recently passed a bill lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 9 years old.

Filipino lawmakers are not generally known for their lawmaking expertise. They’re rather known for something else -- stupidity and idiocy. There was once a congressman who proposed to criminalize and ban typhoons from entering the country, and a district representative who wanted to prohibit the popular game Angry Birds because of its lewdness. “Bird” was a euphemism for penis, and you could only imagine an angry bird! Lawmakers such as these would propose bills based on whims than on evidence, facts, and reason. Their loyalty was not really to the people and the constitution but to power, money, and privilege.

Today is a new low to a Congress that bows to support everything the insane president who is addicted to killing would want. The House Committee on Justice has recently passed a bill that lowers the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 9 years old. The bill seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act that currently set the age requirement at 15 under the care of the social welfare and 18 for criminal liability.

The argument of those who support the bill is that children are used by criminals to do crimes. So, when they grow up they remain criminals and will continue to do crimes. And this is the only reasoning they could come up with, no matter how absurd. If criminal syndicates use children to do crimes, a reasonable solution is to go after the organized crime groups. The government should protect the children. It is the duty of law enforcement to rescue the victim and not to make them criminals.

Will the lowering of criminal liability to 9 years old reduce the country’s crime rates? The answer is no. Will it reduce the number of petty crimes? No. Most children involved in petty offenses such as theft and illegal drug use come from poor communities. These are poverty-related juvenile offenses. It seems the government is keen at reducing poverty by killing the poor. And now they’re after the children who are victims of the circumstances they are born into.

But some of these lawmakers are ex-convicts, plunderers, drug lords, and gambling lords. Many of them have corruption cases in courts. They are not innocent of crimes, but they would love to see children in jail. Why can’t these lawmakers go after their own? They let the president kill the poor and the young accused of using and peddling illegal drugs.

If the bill passed into law, it would make our helpless children criminals and rot in jail. And if the death penalty would also pass, the state could execute them, too. The bill is nothing but violence against children by allowing the state to imprison and kill them while the adults in Congress continue to steal and plunder the taxpayers’ money.

Thankfully, the Senate is yet to deliberate on the proposal. But what future do these lawmakers want for our kids?

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on January 21, 2019 20:31

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In a written exchange, Chief Judge Shalina D. Kumar (Oakland County Circuit Court) answered questions about how juveniles...

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