The Philippine government’s position to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years to nine years old through a law “remains unchanged” despite the result of a survey, said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
In a statement on Saturday, Abella said: “lowering the age of criminal liability is part of the legislative agenda of President Duterte as a means to ensure that the Filipino youth would accept responsibility for their actions and be subjected to government intervention programs.”
The latest Pulse Asia Survey shows that 55 percent of Filipinos favor keeping the minimum age of criminal liability at 15 years old.
“It will also protect them from being utilized by criminal elements as frontline perpetrators of criminal acts,” said Abella.
“What the survey shows is that there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in explaining to Filipinos, on the rationale behind lowering the minimum age of criminal liability”, he added.
In previous speeches, President Rodrigo Duterte said children are being used as drug couriers since they cannot be arrested because of the current law lowering criminal liability to 15.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro is leading the drive to amend the current law at the House of Representatives. DMS