House wants to lower age of criminal liability

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

HEEDING President Rodrigo Duterte’s request, the House of Representatives will reopen its discussion and will later approve a bill lowering the age of criminal liability.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made a pitch to the House Committee on Justice for the passage of the measure that will lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years to nine.

The committee chaired by Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon will conduct a panel hearing tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Speaker Arroyo already confirmed her attendance at the hearing.

Meanwhile, sources said that the Speaker opted not to watch the fight of Senator Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas today because she wanted to attend the public hearing for the bill.

The same sources said Arroyo was personally invited by Senator Pacquiao to watch his fight against American boxer Adrien Broner but declined as she wanted to stay focused on her work in the Congress.

She wished Pacquiao another victory.

The justice committee will tackle House Bill No. 505 filed by Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap which  seeks to amend RA 10630 to lower the age of criminal liability of children nine years old and below.  It has been pending with the committee since July 27, 2016.

Also to be considered is House Bill No. 2009 filed by Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop which seeks to reinstate criminal liability of children above nine years who commit heinous crimes.

Under House Bill 505, a child nine years old and below at the time of the commission of offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. Those above nine years of age but under 18 years old shall be exempted from criminal liability unless he/she acted with discernment.