UN rapporteur Callamard says lowering age of criminal liability "dangerous," "potentially deadly"
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard said that the proposal to lower the criminal liability in the Philippines to 9 years old is "dangerous" and "potentially deadly."
Callamard on her Twitter thanked the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) Philippines for its "crucial reminder," citing science that brain functions reach maturity only at around 16 years old.
"(T)he lowering of criminal responsibility to 9 years old is #Philippines new dangerous and potentially deadly proposal. Just shameful," she said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo slammed Callamard on her latest statement against the Philippines.
"What is shameful (is) when she intrudes into the sovereignty of this country. She has no business interfering with the affairs of Congress in the first place or with the executive," he told reporters in an interview.
He said it seemed Callamard was just listening to the opposition.
"That's the problem, if you listen to the opposition to the critics, detractors, they cannot say anything good. So, you're biased," he said.
Panelo said that Callamard and other critics of the proposal to lower the criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 9 years old should read first the bill before opening their mouth.
He reiterated that the lowering of the age of criminal liability aims to protecting more the children.
Panelo added that it would be up to Congress to determine the minimum age of criminal liability.
At the House of Representatives, the proposal is to lower it at 9 years old, while Senate President Vicente Sotto III's bill is 13 years old. Celerina Monte/DMS