Amendment to RA 9344 favored by CPPO director

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Friday, November 23, 2012


A TOP police official in Cebu supports lowering the age of criminal liability to 12 years old.

“Para ma-rehabilitate sila samtang bata pa (So they can be rehabilitated while they’re young),” said Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador.

The provision is in the first book of the new criminal code, which was drafted by a committee created by the Department of Justice.

The Revised Penal Code of 1932 has been amended to form a new penal code that is “simple, modern, organic and truly Filipino.” This will be presented to Congress next week.

Disparity

Comendador said other countries don’t consider age when a crime is committed. He also discovered that fewer crimes involving minors take place in rural areas in the province compared to the urban areas.

“You can really see the disparity,” he said.

Comendador has showed his support for amending Republic Act (RA) 9344, whose principal author is Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

RA 9344, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, sets at 15 the maximum age of exemption from criminal liability.

Minors above 15 are also exempted from criminal liability and will instead be subjected to an intervention program unless he or she “acted with discernment.”

When Comendador headed the Cebu City Police Office in 2007, he said he personally handed to Pangilinan his position paper against RA 9344.

He said the law “created a dilemma… for law enforcement officers who are in constant contact with society.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 23, 2012.

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