THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has aired its full support to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 years old but still wants a better system and program to help rehabilitate the country’s juvenile delinquents and transform them into much better persons as they grow old.
“What is important here is the system and the program of the rehabilitation of the children,” Albayalde said amid the move by the House of Representatives to approve on second reading a bill that would lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 years old, instead of 9-years old as earlier proposed.
The PNP chief also said that criminalizing minors need a more careful study from concerned agencies as well as experts since there would always be the possibility that the children could only be victims of syndicates, or even by their parents or guardians.
“We have to give children a chance to rehab themselves and probably to reintegrate them into the society and become productive citizens. We have to have programs, we have to have a good system,” he said.
Gen. Albayalde however stressed that the PNP would always enforce the law once it is approved with finality.
President Duterte’s temper rose when he learned that most children who were rescued from an operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Navotas City last January 6 were drug couriers and traffickers.
The President said it was unfortunate that a drug syndicate used minors in its operations which highlighted the need to rid the country of illegal drugs.
Newly-installed PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Bernard M. Banac said that the PNP on orders of Gen. Albayalde will always follow to the letter, without fear or favor all laws in the country.
As part of their effort to arrest children in conflict with the law (CICL), Gen. Albayalde has ordered the continuing enforcement of their Discipline Drive which particularly focuses on violators of different city and municipal ordinances like drinking in public places and minors violating the curfew hours.