PNP says lowering criminal responsibility age not ‘’guarantee’’ children will not wander in streets
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday said lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility does not a “guarantee” that children will not wander in the streets.
“That's not a guarantee,” Albayalde said in a TV interview. “It is not all about law enforcement. We just implement the law but the other programs should be there. It's a whole government approach”.
Albayalde said curfew may lessen crimes involving children.
“When I was city director of Olongapo, there was curfew and we had less crimes committed especially (by) minors,” he said.
He urged Congress to implement a good system for this law.
“When you implement it, you have to have a system. Good program, good facility. As I have said a whole government approach. It's not all law enforcement,” he explained.
Albayalde asked the public to give the bill a chance.
“We fully support the Juvenile Justice Act or lowering the age to 12 or 9 whatever. We will enforce the law. If it will be passed, we will enforce the law surely. What's really important here is the system and program and rehabilitation of the children,” he said.
“You have to give them a chance to rehab themselves and probably to reintegrate to society,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 9 years old but he is “comfortable” to 12 years old.
The House of Representatives initially pushed for 9 years old as the minimum age in order for an individual be criminally liable but raised it to 12 on second reading Thursday.
The Senate version of the bill seeks 13 years old as minimum age for criminal responsibility. Ella Dionisio/DMS