Nancy thumbs down lowering criminal age
MANILA – Senator Nancy Binay said she is not keen on lowering the age of discernment and criminal responsibility following proposals to repeal parts of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
A bill has been filed seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 years old to 13 years old.
Binay said lowering the age of criminal responsibility is “missing the point” and may not be the best way to save the children accused of crime.
“Tayo dapat ang tagapagbantay ng kapakanan ng ating kabataan. Tayo dapat ang kanilang tanod sa tamang daan at hindi berdugo na tatapos sa kanilang kinabukasan," Binay said on Wednesday.
"The point that we are driving at is the war against crime, and not war against children," she added.
She believes that lowering the age of criminal responsibility is not the answer in solving crimes.
“If syndicates and gangs are using children in the operating their crimes, we must initiate stronger laws to counter them and save the children from the blame. These manipulated youth are also victims. We need to strengthen the fiber of our social systems and not only the penal system," she said.
She also said that instead of putting the children behind bars, they should instead be guided and educated.
“We can still intervene, shape and save them with the proper education, counseling and support with a holistic approach that will affect their families and surroundings. Kailangan nila ng ating paggabay at kalinga," Binay said.
"Hindi dapat na tratuhin na parang mga halang na kriminal ang mga bata. They don't deserve to be condemned by society. These kids are practically victims of circumstances," she added.