Congress conducts online poll on lowering age of criminal liability

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2017 04:12 AM

MANILA - The House of Representatives is conducting an online poll on the proposal of lawmakers to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to nine years.

Administration lawmakers have been pushing to pass laws that would restore the death penalty and lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to nine.

"Adult criminals knowingly and purposely make use of youth below 15 years of age to commit crimes, such as drug trafficking," Pantaleon Alvarez, one of the proposed law's main backers, said in an explanatory note.

On the House of Representatives' website, the poll asks the readers if they are in favor of lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility. [LINK: website http://www.congress.gov.ph ]

"Are you in favor of the proposal of lawmakers to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from 15 to nine years?" the online poll asked.

The poll has three options to choose from. Readers can choose from 'Yes,' 'No' and 'Undecided.'

The yes vote reasoned that the "youth should be responsible for their actions and words as early as possible, and not to unduly pamper them with impunity from criminal responsibility upon reaching the age of nine."

"It will also serve as a deterrent to the use of youth in the commission of crimes," it added.

Meanwhile, the no vote states that the proposal "violates child rights."

"Punishing children in conflict with the law (CICL) deprives them of the chance to rebuild their lives and improve their character," it said.

As if this writing, the poll has received 16,669 responses. Less than a tenth of the responders voted in the affirmative, which had 1,509 votes. Meanwhile, 15,111 voted in the negative. Forty-nine responded with an undecided vote.