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Sotto clarifies: No jail time for underage offenders in new bill

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2019 03:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2019 05:46 PM

Sotto clarifies: No jail time for underage offenders in new bill 1
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

MANILA- Senate President Vicente Sotto III clarified Monday that children in conflict with the law will not serve any jail time under the proposal to lower the age of criminal liability.

Sotto said the Senate is set to discuss this week its proposal to lower the age of criminal liability to 12 years old from the current 15. 

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"Mas mahalaga dun sa laman nung bill at para dun sa mga pintasero na di naman alam yung laman ng batas, walang sinasabing ikukulong kahit 12 ka lang," he told radio DZMM.

(What's more important and for critics who don't understand the law, there is nothing in the bill that says children will be jailed.)

"Ang sinasabi dito iimprove natin, icocorrect natin yung mga pagkakamaling laman ng dating batas," he added.

(What we want to do is improve the law and correct errors in the existing one.)

Under the proposed bill, children in conflict with the law shall be subject to a community-based intervention program or committed to a youth care facility known as "Bahay Pag-asa."

Among the changes Sotto mentioned is amending the construction requirements for youth care faciltiies and heavier penalties for parents of children in conflict with the law.

The House of Representatives last week approved on second reading a bill lowering the age of criminal liability to 12 years old, instead of 9, as first proposed.

Proposals to lower the age of criminal liability has received backlash from several human rights groups.