Police chief wants minor offenders punished-A A +A
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The newly installed Benguet police director wants age of criminals to be pegged at 10 years old as minors are becoming rampant offenders in the province.
Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Azurin expressed his sentiments over the problem on minors in front of the Provincial Board last Monday. He said minors had been reported to him as one of the major problems in Benguet during the past years.
He said minors are used by high profile robbers in sneaking into the different houses, especially in La Trinidad, because of the protection to minors the laws provide.
He added most of the arrested robbers were minors and some gangs, which are still roaming around are groups of minors.
During the discussion, some board members cited some sitios in La Trinidad where robbery happens in every house. They expressed their fears because the robbers might posses some firearms.
However, police personnel from the town assured the officials the robbers are just minors and are not professional thieves.
La Trinidad police force showed their frustrations on continuously arresting minors but the suspects still keep on doing the same illegal activity because of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 prohibiting punishment on minors even if they committed crimes.
Azurin admitted they have this dilemma on how to discipline kids in Benguet not to enter into such criminal activity.
He said if only the decision-makers could amend the juvenile act, he will urge the officials to lower the age limit of criminals to 10 as a disciplinary measure for minors who are engaging in illegal acts.
The new provincial police director of Benguet committed to closely negotiate with the decision–makers in the National Government to introduce amendments on the juvenile act. “As long as minors are offenders, they should be sanctioned.”
Azurin replaced the former Provincial Director Benjamin Lusad.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16, 2013.