9 too young to prosecute, says ex-druggie in Batasan

House of Representatives

A drug-user-turned-politician yesterday said  that the syndicate to which he had belonged was using children as young as 12 in their operations.

However, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves said the fact that minors are involved in drug dealing is no reason to support House Bill 8588 or the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.

Teves is one of the members of the House who have expressed strong objection to lower the criminal liability age to nine.

The solon is supporting the version being pushed by Senate President Tito Sotto, which is 12 years old as the age a minor can be held criminally responsible.

“Everybody knows I was a drug addict before, nakikita ko naman talaga na bata ang ginagamit ng sindikato. Sila yung tumatanggap ng bayad, sila bumibili pero hindi sila hinuli ng pulis kasi bata,” Teves said.

Teves admitted that when he was in high school, he became drug addict.

He confirmed that a lot of drug syndicates are using minors who could not be prosecuted and who are not easily suspected.

“In my personal experience during the days when I was into drugs, ginagamit talaga ‘yung mga bata, kahit kami dati. I saw that. I’m sorry to say I’m for the law but not 9. According po sa data 12 (years old) ‘yung talagang maraming krimen…” Teves said.

“Syempre kasama rin tayo sa sindikato dati, ang ginagawa, halimbawa sa isang lugar, ‘yung ginagawa naming kuta ng droga, ‘pag may parating na pulis, bata ang ginagamit, ‘bata rin ang magde-deliver ng shabu,” he said.