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11 senators sign panel report to lower criminal responsibility age to 12

Senator Richard Gordon said he would present on Monday the committee report proposing the lowering of minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 from the present 15.

At total of 11 senators have so far signed the committee report 622 of Senate Bill 2198, which was prepared by the committees on Justice and human rights, headed by Gordon; finance; and, women, children and family relations and gender equality.

“I apologize na hindi natin nagawa agad ‘yung batas natin sa minimum age of criminal liability pero magagawa po natin yan by Monday,” Gordon told the plenary.

The report states that “a child below 12 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention program pursuant to this Act.”

A child is deemed to be 12 years of age on the day of the 12th anniversary of the child’s birth date, it said.

A child above 12 but below 18 shall also be exempted from liability and be subjected to an intervention program unless the child has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings, the report added.

It further said the exemption from liability does not include exemption from civil liability which shall be enforced in accordance with existing law.

Among those who signed were Gordon, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto,  Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda,  Manny Pacquiao, and Cynthia Villar.

Escudero, Legarda, Recto, and Villanueva wrote that they would either interpellate or introduce amendments.

The House of Representatives earlier approved a similar bill lowering the age of criminal liability to 12. —LDF, GMA News