Vugt: 9-year-old children could be hanged

THE Duterte Administration wants to propose to lower the age of criminal liability of children to 9 years old. This is in connection with its campaign against drug addicts and drug pushers. It is in conflict with the present law which says that the age is fifteen years.

I support Duterte in his efforts to eradicate drug addiction but to do it in this way is ridiculous, it is criminal. It would mean that a 9 year-old child can be killed, even by hanging, because Duterte is even in favor of that way of killing. He wants to have the death penalty restored in our Constitution. It would give to the Philippines an image of an uncivilized nation, one of the very few of those nations in the world who have the death penalty.

We as a Christian nation should strongly protest against this and also the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines should speak up against this.

In the first place, the death penalty is against our Christian faith. We are not allowed to kill people. That is against the Ten Commandments, Thou shall not kill. Drug pushers should be arrested and be put in jail, even for life, so that they have time enough to repent for their sins.

Children younger than 15 years old are being used by criminals to commit crimes because they cannot be prosecuted, proponents of the law say. This is nonsense.

It is high time that our new government will spend money to build rehabilitation centers and to train psychologists and psychiatrists to help drug addicts to overcome their addiction.

Children and adults should be required to undergo a drug test when they go to school so that they could be put under observation. And adults must undergo a drug test when they apply for a job. This is the only way to eliminate drug addiction in our society.

We cannot blame children for the crime of adults.

We all have to speak out without fear and call for a society that respects human dignity and the rights of all.

I read in the Inquirer that among those who reportedly accepted payment for sex, 19 of the 21 cases were males while two were females.

Another report said: poor users are hit hardest in drug war.

Most are jobless and depend on selling drugs for income.

Where are the values of our civilization!

I read in the Inquirer of July 24, 2016 that during the State of the Nation Address of President Duterte, the Archdiocese of Manila will hold a Mass and hold a campaign against the extrajudicial killings of the Duterte administration and its war on illegal drugs. The churchgoers will be asked to wear black and bring candles for the campaign. I think, this is the right thing to do for the Church.

[Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com]

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