Lower age for crime liability

THE Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights Committee has decided to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old citing that most highly-industrialized countries have adopted a much lower age.

“Gagawin ko ‘yung recommendation ko… yes (lower it to 12),” committee chairman Senator Richard Gordon told reporters after the hearing.

The committee made the decision despite Gordon acknowledging that there are extreme lapses in the implementation of the current Juvenile Justice Law.

“I’m for 12 years old and let the heavens fall where they may. It is just a number as far as I am concerned. To me the proof of the pudding is in the implementation. I know for a fact na kahit na 15, kahit na 18 hindi ma-implement ‘yan,” Gordon said.

He said the advocates and those against the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility should meet halfway.

“Ako I’m being  pragmatic, let us meet halfway, hindi naman talaga makukulong ‘yan but syempre dapat may accountability,” he said.

Gordon even mentioned highly developed countries that have lower MACR (minimum age of criminal responsibility).

He said England has eight years old, Singapore seven while United States doesn’t even have MACR.

“There’s no global consensus and all the developed countries ay mababa. Eh bakit naman tayo magmamagaling para lang sabihin sikat tayo?” he said.