Juvenile crimes-A A +A
Monday, July 9, 2012
THESE days, going through the pages of our dailies is like getting proof that we have all lost our respect for human beings. People invariably suffer similar fates at the hands of anyone who develops the yen to commit a crime.
Just a few days ago, a young girl on the way home from school was waylaid by someone who tied her hands and threw her in a well. The suspect was someone known to her and her family.
In another incident, a six-year-old child reported being molested by her uncle while the whole family was supposed to be sleeping together. The mother of the child said that she was surprised why she did not notice the incident. In fact, her child’s uncle Mando, 42, who was accused of molesting her, was sleeping right beside her and her older brother.
These are juvenile crimes perpetrated by persons close to the victims.
Still another incident is about an eleven-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a 14-year-old high school student who did it in a parked tricycle. This is a case where the perpetrator is underaged, and the victim is younger than the perpetrator. Under our law, they are both at an age when they cannot be prosecuted yet. So, what are we to do with the perpetrator?
It is time for our leaders to begin re-thinking the national policy about juvenile crimes against person. The latter case is a clear instance of a problem our criminal probers are faced with, where their hands are tied by our laws.
There were a number of occasions when I talked about the law that exempts from prosecution teenage perpetrators. It seems that criminal syndicates train the kids with ages 15 and below to be either drug courier or drug runners, knowing that they cannot be prosecuted when caught.
More so now when parents would be penalized if they even inflict corporal punishment on their kids. How much more would it be to force them to talk about those who hired them to deliver drugs. This is the dilemma we face in our contemporary circumstances.
Our kids today are quite matured for their age. I am sure that many of them who are 14 and below already know and understand what many of their forebears may not have known until they were of ages 18 and above. Thus, it is difficult for their parents to refrain from using corporal punishment under the proposed ordinance of the Cebu City Council.
Let’s face it. Our times now are far too different from, say, two decades ago. Parents before would chase their kids with a whip. Today, kids think nothing of chasing their parents with the whip.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 10, 2012.