Guevarra backs proposal to lower age of criminal liability: It’s a dangerous world out there!
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday (Oct. 3) has expressed support to legislative proposals to lower the age of criminal liability.
He pointed out that drug peddlers have taken advantage of the current law and have used it to exploit children in the narcotics trade by using them as couriers.
“As it now stands, the law enacted to protect and care for our children has incentivized their exploitation and engagement into the shady world of drug trafficking and dealing,” he said in his speech at the at the National Summit on Dangerous Drugs Law.
Guevarra noted the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 exempted children 15-years old or younger from criminal responsibility.
He added the law also have children aged above 15 but below 18 to be released from criminal responsibility if proven to have acted without discernment.
“Proposals to lower the age of criminal responsibility, complemented by interventions to keep children out of our streets and away from the exploitative influence of criminal elements, must therefore be carefully considered as part of our comprehensive and holistic approach to suppress the drug problem in our our midst,” Guevarra pointed out.
“Work on these proposals must complement and supplement the initiatives of the Executives, including those of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs and the Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force created through Executive Order No. 15, series of 2016,” he added.