MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will ask Congress to amend the law exempting youth offenders from criminal liability noting that many criminal groups are employing minors in their activities.
The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act exempts children aged 15 to 18 from criminal liability. Instead of being jailed, they are turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo raised the issue of amending the juvenile law during consultations with local officials in Metro Manila last week, noting that not only are criminal entities using minors, some of these youths are also becoming bolder in committing robbery and theft because they know they would be eventually freed.
“We should seriously look into the implications of exempting juvenile offenders from criminal liability,” Robredo said. “We should also consider that behind these minors are adults who influence them into doing these criminal acts.” -Cecil Suerte Felipe | philstar.com