Friday, April 13, 2012

POSTSCRIPT to AGE DOESN’T MATTER: Criminal liability for youth offenders

By Siesta-friendly

We feel strongly against the lack of criminal liability imposed upon youth offenders who clearly have discernment over what they are doing. And to further support our stand, we  cite 2 recent examples that show why an amendment of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 so as to lower the minimum age set for imposing criminal liability is necessary.

We note that there are numerous instances that exemplify the need to impose criminal liability to youth offenders who already comprehend what they are doing.  We list here 2 of the more recent ones –

The  recent video news report of a 6 year old girl raped by 2 playmates – one 13-year old and one 7-year old - is the first example. The young victim was first raped by the 13-year old who then ordered another playmate to also rape her.  After the second rape, the 13-year old rapist then ordered the victim’s brother to also rape her but the latter firmly refused.  The young victim has since refused to finish her last month of the school year.   Her family was paid a mere P500 as damages by the rapist’s family.  Neither of the child rapists saw the inside of a detention cell.   The imposition of criminal liability would find more meaning knowing that the 13-year old rapist has raped 2 other girls before.   In all 3 instances of rape, he was never even held by the police, pursuant to law.[1]

The second case involves 2 teenagers - 17-year old and 13-year old boys - who “admitted to raping and sodomizing [their 7-year old victim] … then drowning her in a creek when she kept crying.  Although both were charged with rape and murder, the city police Chief Senior Superintendent was the first to admit that the charges were merely procedural because “under that law, the 13-year-old does not have any criminal liability at all” and “the DSWD will have to determine first if [the 17-year old] committed the crime with discernment”. [2]

These are just 2 of the more horrific instances of youth crimes. What are our lawmakers still waiting for before they amend the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006?

[1]  6 taong gulang na bata, ginahasa ng kapitbahay. (2012, March 24). Retrieved from

[2]  See, A. B. (2012, March 13). 2 boys in girl's rape-slay charged with murder. Retrieved from


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