Church blasts lower criminal liability age

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MANILA, July 26, 2016 – ”Lowering the age of liability for crime will not solve crime.”

This is what Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care for Migrant and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI), said as he opposed plans to lower the liability age of criminals from 15 years old to nine.

”Instead of making more children be tagged as criminals let us put all our efforts at having children be children,” stressed the prelate in a statement.

He said instead of penalizing children, society must focus on ensuring their health and education, adding: “Let us see to their health and education so they will grow up into good citizens”.

Santos believes it is society’s duty to look after everyone’s safety, particularly that of children.

“We should be concerned with peace and order, where everyone especially children are protected and secured in and out of the house.”

Davao del Norte Rep. Panteleon “Bebot” Alvarez recently filed a bill lowering the minimum age of criminal liability among minors.

The House Bill titled “Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Act” seeks to adjust the minimum age of criminal liability set by the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006” from 15 to nine years old. (Kevin Cariño / CBCPNews)

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