Council Cites Criminal Liability Survey

Article excerpt

MANILA , Philippines - The Juvenile Justice And Welfare Council (JJWC) on Tuesday said that lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility is not the solution to crimes involving children, citing an online survey of the House of Representatives.

Lawyer Tricia Clare Oco, JJWC Executive Director, said the poll results gave the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 a "shot in the arm."

Last month, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading House Bill 6052 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (JJWA), proposing to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from 15 to 12 years old.

A poll was conducted to determine whether the public agreed with the bill or not. The poll showed that almost 70 percent of those who participated in the poll are against the lowering of the MACR.

"We are excited about the poll result because it echoes the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council's opinion that lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility is not the answer to solving criminality involving children and the poll shows we are not alone in this conviction and we appreciate that support," Oco said.

She added that openly-expressed opinions on important issues coming from prominent and respected personalities help give proper attention to the provisions of the JJWA.

"Support, coming directly from the people in the form of surveys or from lawmakers, who understand the letters and the spirit of the law, definitely provides us with the much needed moral boost in our efforts to promote and protect the rights and the welfare of the children in conflict with the law," she said. …