CV peace and order council pushes for review, amendment of juvenile law

July 30, 2010 12:05 pm 

CEBU CITY, July 30 – The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) 7 has pushed for the review of the law involving children in conflict with the law, citing strings of crime carried out by minors.

The council decided to ask the House of Representatives to review and amend Republic Act (RA) 9344, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia sits as council chairperson.

Recently, several minors were arrested for different offenses.

Among the recent crimes perpetrated by minors was the murder attempt on businessman Nicolas Ting last June 21 and the robbing and killing of a taxi driver. Both incidents happened in Mandaue City.

On the Ting case, a 16-year-old boy admitted shooting the victim after he was made to take shabu and drink a bottle of beer.

The police in Metro Cebu and Cebu City Councilor Edgardo Labella have also appealed for the review of the law.

Labella, a lawyer, earlier said the precedence of many youth offenders who were exempted from criminal liability may have encouraged teenagers to commit crimes.

In 2007, Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. submitted a position paper asking Sen. Francisco Pangilinan, the proponent of the law, to repeal and modify RA 9344.

Comendador had pointed out that crime statistics during the first half of that year showed 600 cases involving minors.

Under Section 6 of RA 9344, a child 15 years old or younger at the time of an offense shall be exempted from criminal liability.

Those above 15 years but below 18 may be charged if they acted with discernment but shall likewise be exempted from criminal liability, although they will be subjected to an intervention program. (PNA)

FFC/EB/re

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