Vice mayor lambasts human rights body over child offenders

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Friday, September 16, 2011


VICE Mayor Rodrigo Duterte lambasted the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Davao for its alleged statement that anyone below 21 years old is considered a child.

"Kini pud mga human rights na below 21 is child pa daw dapat. Mao na nag-antos ang katilingban tungod sa inyong ka bright. Ang bata inyong gipadako, nagtuo siya na wala siyay tubagonon. Maayo unta mahitabo na sa inyo (to be victimized by minor criminals) kay pikatan ta gyud mo," Duterte said.

Duterte dared the CHR to make a complete list of innocent victims of criminals and compare those with criminals who die within the past 10 years in Davao City.

"Tan-awa ang produkto sa inyong kabuang. Kung mao na inyong kalipay, OK lang. Kamong nawad-an ug mahal sa kinabuhi, adtoa ninyo ang CHR. Ayaw mo panghugas ug kamot kay apil mo diri. Tubaga na ninyo," said the vice mayor.

Duterte supported the move in Congress to suspend the implementation of the controversial Juvenile Justice Act, saying the law is a copycat and is not suited in the Philippines.

In his “Ato ni Bay” show on Tuesday, Duterte said he had long been telling Senator Francis Pangilinan, the law's main author, that the law may be suitable to the United States setting where it was allegedly copied but never in the Philippine setting.

"Gisunod-sunod lang nila na sa banyaga, kining si Pangilinan nagpataka ug imbento ug balaud wala man gani nagprovide ug mandatory funds for correctional facilities. Dapat panagutan gyud na ni Pangilinan. Amigo nako sya, pero ako gyud syang gimahay ngano nangopya sya ug balaud na dili applicable sa atoa dinhi," Duterte said.

He said the Juvenile Justice Act has erased from minors their sense of accountability and retribution.

Duterte said the law was also abused by criminal groups that are now using minors in their criminal acts knowing that the minors would go scot-free afterwards.

"You took away from the social dimensions their sense of accountability. Mao nay nakadaut kang Pangilinan. Iya ning tanan. Karon nakakita na sila unsa ka brazen ang mga bata karon. Midako na sila na walay sense of retribution," Duterte said.

"Ni ingon ko before nganong hilabtan man jud na (Juvenile Justice law)! Since mayor ko, napura nalang mo sige paminaw ani, look at what happened now," he said.

Duterte said it would be better perhaps if nine-year-old below would be the innocent, and above nine to 12 should be place under observation, while 12-year-old above has already a capacity to discern.

"Kini pud mga human rights, below 20 minor? Pagka nalang jud! If ugma pa ang birthday sa bata, human nakapatay na ron, ok lang kay below 20. Mas marunong pa kayo ba. Look, nag-antos na ang katilingban because sa inyong ka bright!" Duterte said, as he cited reports on television on brazen crimes committed by minors.

Duterte said the CHR even gave him list of the people killed in Davao City and some were perpetrated by the minor offenders.

"Mura ba ug ako ang nagpapatay sulod sa 10 years diin naa'y 800 na ang nangamatay, kay ako man ang tagaan. Pangutanahon ta mo diri, kinsa inyong patubagon ana ron?" he said, citing the rape victims and victims of killings.

"Ayaw mo panghugas ug kamot! Good or bad apil mo diri. You human rights, dili gani mo kahatag ug financial assistance sa mga nangabuang (victims and affected families) matungod ana. Now answer me..." Duterte added.

Alberto Sipaco, director of CHR-Davao, said he would not comment on the matter as it is now more on policy makers.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, meanwhile, said that those frustrated by the proliferation of crimes committed by minors are barking up the wrong tree in blaming the Juvenile Justice Law or Republic Act (RA) 9344.

“We don’t understand the argument that RA 9344 is to blame for all these crimes. Unang-una, hindi naman dapat pakawalan ang mga batang ito pag nahuli. Kailangan pa rin nilang managot sa kanilang ginawa. Ang RA 9344 ay isang hiwalay na justice system na isinagawa para sa mga kabataang delingkwente. Maliwanag iyan. At di rin natin maintindihan ang argumentong nahihirapan ang mga pulis makakuha ng mga impormasyon mula sa mga kabataan para matumpok ang mga sindikato sa likod ng mga krimeng ito dahil sa RA 9344. Hindi naman siguro ganun ka-inutil ang ating kapulisan na kung hindi makuha ang impormasyon sa kabataan e titigil na sa pagpursigi sa kaso," the senator explained.

Pangilinan adds that while he can sympathize with the victims, there is fundamental lack in the implementation of laws in the country, and that is where the focus ought to be.

“Meron tayong mga batas na nagsasaad halimbawa na bawal pakalat-kalat ang mga aso at dapat nakatali ang mga ito para maiwasan ang rabies. Pero nakikita natin pakalat-kalat pa rin ang mga ito. Mali ba ang batas? Mali din ba ang batas na nagsasaad na bawal ang mga pedicab sa malalaking lansangan gayong nagkalat pa rin ang mga ito doon? Palagay ko ang dapat tutukan ng ating pamahalaan ay ang tamang pagpapatupad ng batas bago pa man magpanukala ng anupamang mga pagbabago gayong wala pa naman tayong basehan kung epektibo ba ito o hindi," Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan warned against proposals to suspend the Juvenile Justice Law, expressing her apprehension that doing so would lead to large scale violation of children’s rights.

“Proposing the suspension and introducing amendments to the Juvenile Justice Law, is a myopic approach to the problem of increasing number of youth offenders. I urge colleagues in the Senate to look at the bigger picture and go slow on proposals to suspend the law. Why are these minors not in school? Why are they forced to resort to illegal activities? What makes them vulnerable to criminal syndicates?” she said. (BOT/With Ivy C. Tejano)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2011.

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