MANILA- The Philippine National Police (PNP) supports lowering the age of criminal liability to 9 years old, its chief said Monday.
This is because many children are being used to commit crimes such as peddling narcotics, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a media briefing.
The police chief also suggested that parents who use their children to commit crimes should suffer a harder punishment under the law.
"Mas mabigat dapat 'yung parusa doon sa magulang kung mapatunayang ginagamit niya 'yung kaniyang anak dito sa hindi maganda o dito sa hindi tama, sa nagva-violate, or lalo na sa pagtutulak ng ilegal na droga," Albayalde told reporters.
(Parents who use their children for crimes should have a heavier punishment.)
Under the law, children 15 years old and younger are exempted from criminal liability.
Albayalde's comment comes after House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed support for a bill seeking to lower the age of criminal liability to 9 years old.
Last year, Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed a bill seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 13 "to adapt to changing times."
-with a report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News