From 9 to 12: How the Philippines Promote Every Child's Rights and Protect Them from Harm
|Above copied from the Philippine Star|
Those who support the lowering of the minimum age may have a number of reasons, but for most, it seems that they simply want to be on the same side as the current president, Duterte. Duterte seems to have gained infallibility simply because he is not seen as a hypocrite. But there is no real data that support a need for such lowering. Some supporters provide the following numbers:
|Above copied from RealNumbersPH|
To put the numbers in the correct perspective, there are millions and millions of 9-17 year olds in the Philippines. 1954 is therefore a very small percentage. Furthermore, the lowering of the age is from 15 to 9 while the numbers shown above include those who are older than 15. The previous post in this blog shows that most of the children in conflict with the law are 15 years old or older.
Another favorite point raised by those who support the proposed bill is the claim that children who are found criminally liable are not going to be sent to jail, but to a rehabilitation center:
It sounds good. The thing is, an intensive juvenile intervention and support center is simply a euphemism. One should note that the above is not an amendment. This definition of an "intensive juvenile intervention and support center" in the current Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9344, as amended by R.A. 10630. There is nothing new here, and there is no indication that these centers even exist in every province or city, and are able to handle all cases. One can simply take a look at the current status of Philippine basic education and arrive at the conclusion that it is not possible for the Philippines to implement these since it is already failing in basic education, a much easier task than intervention and supporting children in conflict with law. Children nonetheless are being detained and no euphemism can hide that fact. Worse, most of the children who are being incarcerated in these "youth jails" are associated not with the serious crimes enumerated in the bill, but with less serious crimes like theft.
|Above copied from|
"STATUS OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW IN SAMAR, PHILIPPINES: INPUT TO INTERVENTION PROGRAM"
The cases of children in conflict with law in the Philippines are also well known to be associated with a child's not meeting his or her basic needs. Poverty is a key factor. What children need is a sincere "commitment to promote their rights and protect them from harm". And this cannot be answered by punitive measures or even intervention as in "youth jails".
Hypocrites do not act on their word, but it does not mean what they say is generally wrong. On the other hand, sincere people are not necessarily infallible. People can be sincerely wrong.
|Above copied from Save the Children|