THE government, through the two-chamber Congress, would do well now to come up with a new legislation aimed at giving the authorities enough teeth to go after young criminals.
Everybody concedes that there are more crimes, including heinous crimes, being committed by minors, many of them under the influence of shabu and other illegal drugs, these days.
It will be recalled that last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered a nationwide curfew for minors to keep them off the streets late at night until the wee hours of the morning.
President Duterte explained that the curfew for minors “is a mechanism to protect a child from predators, from being utilized as a seller of shabu, from being raped.”
However, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the curfew for minors being implemented from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Manila, Quezon City and Malabon.
The High Tribunal issued the TRO after a youth group said that the curfew is in violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9344, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.”
Note that due to the mushrooming cases of children in conflict with law in various parts of the country, some quarters even want Congress to re-impose the death penalty on minors.
This came in the wake of the recent arrest of a 13-year-old boy who killed his 5-year-old neighbor in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
But to the consternation of the grieving relatives of the victim as well as law enforcement authorities, the young suspect was remanded under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Thus, there’s now that urgent need to adopt a new system to deal with the rising number of young criminals in this country, where there’s a move to restore the capital punishment.