Should 9-year-old offenders be treated as criminals?

Angie Saniel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2016 01:27 AM

CEBU - Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale on Monday expressed her disapproval at the proposal of incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to lower the age of criminal liability to 9 years old.

Magpale said 9-year-old children are too young and are not yet capable of discernment.

“We can provide statistics; we are running a facility. We can also conduct a public hearing and let’s get the opinion of others and even child psychologists,” she said.

Magpale, the co-chairperson of the provincial commission for the welfare of children, said Congress can lower the age of criminal liability but only to 11 years old.

The provincial government is running a facility for children in conflict with the law.

According to Magpale, they have rescued children who have committed murder at age 14 and committed rape at 11.

Magpale urged local government units in Cebu to build their own facilities to answer the needs of youth offenders.

Magpale said children who violate the law should be considered victims.

READ: Why Alvarez wants 9-year-old children held criminally liable