12, not 9 years old; "social", not criminal responsibility, says House
MANILA—The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill lowering the age of criminal liability.
Lawmakers approved a bill lowering the age of criminal liability to 12 years old, instead of 9, as first proposed.
House Justice Committee chairman Rep. Doy Leachon said the last minute amendment to the bill was made after a consensus was reached.
"So when there was a consensus already of the . . . and sabi nila, ano ba gusto niyo ba sa 15? Ayaw naman nila. Gusto niyo ba sa 9? And many of them had reservations," he said.
"Tinanong ko silang lahat and when we got more than majority of members, so we decided to have it at uniform 12 years old instead of the original proposal of 9 years old."
The word "criminal" was also deleted from the approved bill. It is then replaced with "social" to read "social responsibility."
The bill seeks to amend provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 which exempts children 15 years old and below from criminal liability.