Manila, Philippines – Children in conflict with the law should not be considered criminals because they are also victims of circumstances, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Justice (DoJ) said, in rejecting the proposal to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to nine-years-old.
“Let us not forget that most of these children in conflict with the law are those who are neglected and lacked parental love and guidance; those who come from impoverished and dysfunctional families; whose parents are jobless or separated; whose environment is filled with air of violence, or whose community is tolerant of offending crimes as their normal way of living.
These are reality bites that conquer their motivations for survival,” DSWD Undersecretary Alicia Bala said. DoJ Secretary Leila de Lima said these children deserve to “live the best of their childhood and it is our great responsibility to make it so.” (Ellalyn B. de Vera)
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