Adults’ liability for offenses committed by children

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Atty. Maria Dee A. Seares-Del Rosario
Protecting women and children

REPUBLIC Act 10630 is the law amending the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. It now includes provisions on the liability of adults for offenses committed by children, particularly the adults who use children in the commission of crimes and the parents of the child offenders.

The law provides that any person who uses, takes advantage of, or profits from the use of children in the commission of the crime shall be given the penalty provided by law for the crime committed, in the maximum period. Any person who with abuse of confidence, takes advantage of the child, induce, threaten, or instigate the commission of the crime shall likewise be given the penalty prescribed by law for the crime, also in the maximum period (Section 20-C of RA 10630).

On the other hand, the law also provides that the parents shall be liable for any damages caused by their child in the commission of the offense. They will not be liable if they can prove that they exercised “reasonable supervision over the child at the time the child committed the offense and exerted reasonable effort and utmost diligence to prevent or discourage the child from committing another offense.” In the law, “parents” may refer to the biological parents of the child; adoptive parents of the child; or the individuals who have custody of the child (Section 20-D of RA 10630).

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.


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