Punish neglectful parents of young offenders — Duterte

January 24, 2019
Rodrigo R. Duterte
Rodrigo R. Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte wants parents of children in conflict with the law to also be punished for neglecting their offspring, Malacañang said yesterday.

“Congress can introduce provisions to that… na in case of children committing crimes, parents proved to be neglectful then should also be accountable,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Asked if it is legally feasible, Panelo said: “Bakit naman hindi?”

Chief Public Attorney Dr. Persida V. Rueda Acosta earlier welcomed the House of Representatives approval on second reading of a bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old, the age also being pushed by Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III in his version of the age of criminal liability bill.

The PAO head said they encounter 12- and 15-year-olds being utilized by syndicates and other criminal groups.

The House had earlier wanted to lower age of criminal liability to 9 years old.

Earlier, Duterte, in an interview with reporters on Wednesday night, said he is “comfortable” with 12 as the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Duterte said nine years old was just his “suggestion” to legislators, adding that parents should be “conscious of the criminal accountability” of their children because they, too, would be held accountable for their children’s offenses.

Panelo, however, insisted that the President was just “expressing an idea” and it is ultimately up to Congress whether it will adopt the President’s suggestion.

“The President is expressing an idea, and again it’s on the part of Congress to realize this idea. If they are open to that they can do something about it,” he said.

Panelo earlier also said that parents of children involved in illegal activities should also be held accountable.