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Palace: Parents of delinquent kids should be liable

Malacañang urged Congress on Thursday to introduce a provision making neglectful parents liable for crimes committed by their delinquent children after the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading the bill reducing criminal responsibility among minors but amended the measure to set the minimum age of criminal responsibility from nine to 12.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the provision is not yet under the law and suggested that maybe Congress can improve it in their proposed bill.

“Baka Congress can introduce provisions to that na in case of children committing crimes, parents proved to be neglectful then should also be accountable,” Panelo said.

“Although crime is supposed to be personal. But even in crimes diba merong reckless imprudence? Puwedeng pumasok sila doon,” he added.

Panelo said it will still be up to Congress to decide what they want to do with the bill.

“The President is expressing an idea. It’s again on the part of Congress to realize this idea. If they’re open to that, then they could do something about it,” he said.

“There should be some kind of punishment for the parents also if they are neglectful, either deliberately or recklessly. Supposedly the parents are the trainer children, the molder of children to become righteous individuals and good citizens,” he added.

Under the Revised Penal Code, erring minors will be turned over to an institution supervised by the Department of Social Welfare of Development. According to Panelo, this already is a punishment for parents.

“That provision is already punishment to parents. Because when you deprive the parents of parental custody, it’s a kind of punishment. Can you imagine your own children you cannot rear them,” he said.

Panelo agreed that children should not be put in jail with other criminals as this will affect their behavior, saying the bill was opposed not because of the age, but because of the idea that children will be put behind bars.

“You cannot be putting to jail these minors. You have to correct them, rehabilitate them. Kasi they become more hardened pag kinulong mo ‘yan lalo pag napasama sa hardened criminals.” he said.

The Palace official said that the government can always allot more funds to institutions that will house child delinquents after Sen. Bam Aquino said that the government lacks facilities to help reform these children.

“Kung ‘yan lang ang problema eh ‘di dagdagan natin ng pondo. Napakaliit naman ng problemang ‘yan. If it’s a matter of funding then let’s put some funds, or more funds,” Panelo said.

On Wednesday, President Duterte said he was comfortable with lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12-years-old. Duterte said he wanted to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility to instill discipline among both parents and kids. (Argyll Geducos)

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