Press Release
January 20, 2019

...says there are better ways to save children who've gone astray

Senator Nancy Binay strongly opposed the move to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 9 years old.

"As a mother of 9-year old twins, alam ko na sa ganitong edad wala pa silang tamang kakayahan to decide kung ano ang tama at mali," Binay said.

"Even though we are serious in stopping juvenile crime, lowering the age of criminal responsibility may not be the best way to save children who may have gone astray," she added.

Binay urged lawmakers to carefully study measures that would affect the development of children.

She cited studies in psychology and neurobiology show that brain function reach maturity only at around 16 years old.

"Hinihimok po natin ang mga kapwa nating mambabatas ang huwag madaliin at magpadalos-dalos sa mga batas na magtatakda sa kinabukasan ng mga bata," she added.

Binay also said that if syndicates and gangs are using children in the operating their crimes, the government must initiate stronger efforts to counter them and save the children from the blame.

"Hindi po lahat ng bata ay batang-hamog, at kaagad na lang ituturing na delinkwente 'pag nagkamali. At hindi lahat ng batang nalihis ng landas ay agad na ituturing kriminal. We are definitely missing the point regarding this issue. These manipulated youth are also victims. We need to strengthen our social systems and not only the penal system," she added.

Binay said one provision of the law that needs to be effectively enforced is the creation of effective Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC).

RA 9344 mandates that LGUs should allot 1% of their internal revenue allotment (IRA) for the BCPCs, which have the power to take preventive steps against juvenile delinquency.

"Hindi dapat na tratuhin na parang mga halang na kriminal ang mga bata. They don't deserve to be condemned by society. They are children. These kids are practically victims of circumstances," Binay said.

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