PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was outraged after learning in the news about the rounding up of minors in a recent anti-illegal drug operation.
Duterte said it was unfortunate that a drug syndicate has used minors in its operations, which highlighted the need to rid the country of the illegal drugs.
“Itong mga bata ginamit nila, kaya nagwala ako.”
“Kaya nung nangyari nung five days ago, ang mga nagme-maintain ngayon ng shabu ang mga bata. Kung may parokyano na makita niya naghahanap, dadalhin nila doon hithitin nila, sila na ang kukubra, pati ang mga bata shoot na rin sila, as young as 6, 8, 9, 14,” Duterte said in a speech in Lucena City, Quezon.
Duterte did not identify which recent incident he was referring to, but he was likely alluding to the recent rescue of some 12 minors in suspected drug dens in Navotas City.
Duterte expressed outrage over the alleged involvement of the minors in illegal drug operations even as Congress deliberates on the possible lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability. He did not make a reference to the issue in his speech.
The House justice committee approved on Monday a bill seeking to lower the age of criminal liability to 9 years old.
Duterte is seeking the lowering of minimum age of criminal liability, saying the current law shielding minors of certain ages from criminal prosecution has produced a “generation of criminals.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said the President has not yet specified which age should be set as the minimum age of criminal liability.
“All he has been saying since the campaign is he wants that lowered. And we will leave that to the lawmakers,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.