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VP Robredo against plan to lower age of criminal liability

Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday spoke out against the proposal to further lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years old to nine.

Robredo said she finds that the current set-up in the law is enough.

"Ako, kontra ako doon," she told reporters. "Isa ako doon sa mga sumulong ng Juvenile Justice Law and I think 'yung criminal liability under the law is sufficient."

She added: "Kokontra ako kapag merong moves na babaan ito."

The Vice President made the remarks the day after the opening of the 17th Congress, after new House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called on the passage of three top priority measures including the lowering of age for criminal responsibility.

Alvarez, along with Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, filed House Bill 002, which seeks to bring back the minimum age of criminal responsibility to nine years old, as a deterrent to the use of youth in committing crimes.

The lawmakers believe children this age and up are "already fully informed" given their access to information through technology.

The Vice President said the measure is alarming, especially when coupled with the possible return of death penalty—something that President Rodrigo Duterte is espousing.

"Nakakatakot 'yung sitwasyon, na halimbawa ibalik 'yung death penalty, tapos i-lower pa 'yung age of criminal liability. Nakakatakot na meron tayong mga bata na ise-sentence to death," she said.

Robredo reasoned that the age currently set for criminal responsibility was deliberated on thoroughly.

"Pinag-isipan ito nang matagal. Hindi naman ito something na ipinili lang natin randomly out of the numbers. Maraming dahilan kung bakit ito 'yung age of criminal liability," she said.

Robredo is also staunchly against the proposed return of death penalty, and said she thinks it's "something that the administration will respect." —JST, GMA News