- Incoming House of Representative Speaker is eyeing to amend the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006
- The law, he said, has many loopholes that are being exploited by criminal syndicates
- Duterte has long been opposed to the juvenile law because it condones youth offenders
Newly-elected Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s choice to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, is considering amending the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 in line with Duterte’s objective to suppress crime in 3 to 6 months.
Alvarez said the present juvenile law, known as the “Pangilinan Law” as it was authored by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, has many loopholes, adding he will press for a law that will amend it.
The law exempts minor offenders aged 15 and below from any criminal liability, while those above 15 until 18 years old are made to undergo an examination by the Department of Social Welfare and Services to determine whether they committed the crime with discernment.
“Don’t get me wrong, the objective of the law is noble. However, in reality, there has been a problem in the implementation because the minors, 15 years old and below, are being used by the syndicates,” he said.
“Yung age na hindi ka pwedeng i-prosecute, ibababa uli natin,” Alvarez said.
[The age that would exempt you (offenders) from being prosecuted, we will lower again]
Politiko said Alvarez wants the minimum age to be lowered to 11 years old, although it would be left to the court to find out whether or not the young suspect acted with discernment.
The incoming president, noted Mindanao Daily Mirror, has long been opposed to the “Pangilinan Law,” which the presumptive president said condones youth offenders.
Duterte said that the law makes the children grow up “without a sense of accountability since they are not punished for crimes they commit.”