Lowering the bar for criminal liability

"The legislators who passed the measure are themselves committing a criminal act against the ordinary citizens."


The House justice committee approved the measure to lower the age of criminal liability to age nine. Often, child criminals are used by crime syndicates for their nefarious activities because when caught, these young offenders are mostly turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and a halfway house called Bahay Pagasa.

In 2018 alone, some 5,000 minors were arrested and booked for engaging in various petty and serious crimes.

Studies made by DSWD officials and sociologists showed very few of these child criminals are reformed when committed to less restrictive confinement. Many of them go back to their former handlers to commit more serious crimes.

At present, the age of criminal liability is 17. Senate President Tito Sotto and other senators have made known their opposition to the House bill. They prefer lowering the age barrier to 12 or 14 years old.

Vice President Leni Robredo found the new age limit of nine too drastic. She says it diminishes the children’s capacity for reform as they are deprived of time and space while under detention.

The senators are concerned that putting more children in jail would further congest the country’s detention facilities and mixing the minors with hardened criminals is like sending them to a finishing school of crime.

To this I say: Lowering the age of liability of children who commit crimes is decriminalizing further offenses against the community. The legislators who passed the measure are themselves committing a criminal act against the ordinary citizens. Often, the out-of-school youth criminals are engaged in house break-ins. snatching of cellphones and purses. Some are deployed by drug syndicates as distributors and runners.

Certain legal quarters believe parents should shoulder the acts of their errant children while others suggest a heavier penalty of imprisonment on hardened criminals and syndicates who use these children as ploys for their crimes. Parents have a moral responsibility to keep their children in school instead of letting them be taken in by lawless elements who then become their father figure who lead them into a life of crime.

Postmortem on Pacquiao-Broner 

Defeated challenger Adrien Broner, in the post-fight interview, insisted that he won the fight against Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

What? Broner’s brains must been badly shaken up after many power punches to the head from Pacquiao. Fight fans that included myself (who watched the bout at a Greenbelt pub which put up a 46-inch TV screen outside)booed in disbelief at Broner’s comments. Actually, if anyone was robbed, it was Manny Pacquiao whose million dollar house in Los Angeles was broken into while he was fighting in Las Vegas. LA police still have to arrest the robbers.

How could it have been otherwise when the 40-year old Filipino world welterweight champ took the American to school with non-stop flurries and combinations? Manny failed to knock out or knock down Broner but to all three judges, it was a one-sided fight. Short of his face being rearranged by Manny’s punches, Broner did not look as menacing after the Nevada Boxing Commission ordered him to shave off his James Harden-like beard.

The Pacquiao camp asked boxing officials to have Broner shave his beard as it would serve as a cushion to blows on the chin aside from being used as a sharp object during head to head clinches.

How does a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather rematch loom in the horizon? Floyd who watched at ringside is non-committal after seeing Manny still has what it takes at 40. Floyd himself, at 42, is coming in and out of retirement. Fight promoters do not see the record megabucks at the gate, earned in the first bout between the two. That one was won by Floyd who opted to dance away from Manny’s power punches.

So who next on Manny’s sights? World lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford could be it. The Nebraskan could go up to the welterweight class and could pack more wallop with the added weight.

Crawford is a dangerous opponent. He is undefeated and has shown that aside from a mean punch from either hand, he is a cunning offensive/ defensive fighter willing to mix it up. This is what Pacquiao wants as he proved when he knocked out Argentina’s Lucas Mattysee, a mix-it-up slugger.

Topics: Department of Social Welfare and Development , Leni Robredo , Tito Sotto , Manny Pacquiao , Floyd Mayweather
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