President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday lashed out at Senator Francis Pangilinan for authoring the law that sets the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 15 years old.
In his speech during the Bonifacio Day celebration in Caloocan City on Saturday, Duterte said 15-year-olds and below are only "going in and out of prison" despite committing various [crimes] because of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which Pangilinan authored.
"Alam mo ba ‘yun si Pangilinan? Kayo, kayo lahat, kayong lahat. Bumilib kayo sa gunggong na ‘yan? ‘Yan ang nag --- nag-ano ng batas na hindi mo mahuli 15 years old," Duterte said.
"They go in and out of prison because of the Pangilinan law," he added.
Duterte said the guarantee they will not be imprisoned has emboldened children below 15 to commit more crimes.
"They do not realize whenever they commit a wrong, they do not realize at all that you have a responsibility to your country. Wala. Wala lahat," he said.
"And these, mga human rights that ought to have been the target. They should have collected these boys and fed them, quarter them with the --- if they would apply for a thing like that --- the halfway house. The court can always grant it," he added.
The President went on to insult Pangilinan, claiming that his wife, actress and singer Sharon Cuneta, does not want him in their house anymore.
"Pinapaalis na nga ng asawa niya sa bahay niya, ayaw kay wala ibang matirahan. Totoo. Tanungin mo," he said. "At kung sabihin mo nagsisinungaling ako, I will resign."
The House of Representatives in the 17th Congress approved the measure lowering the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old.
A counterpart measure, however, did not get the same approval from the Senate. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News