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PIA Press Release

Maasin holds orientation on juvenile justice administration

By Bong Pedalino

MAASIN CITY (12 April) -- About two hundred individuals who will eventually play the role as frontlines in the implementation of a new law on minor offenders were gathered at the Ampil Pensionne here Tuesday, April 11, for a day-long orientation and dialogue on juvenile justice.

The gathering, officially called “Juvenile Justice Administration on 7 Pillars of Juvenile Justice System and Orientation on RA 9344,” was attended by barangay captains from this city’s 70 barangays, Chiefs of Police from the various municipal/city police stations, social workers from municipal/city DSWD offices province-wide, non-government organizations (NGOs), and some other national line government offices.

Director Leticia Corillo, the OIC-Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), was also present.

Among the guest speakers were Atty. Claire Clementair of the Department of Justice (DOJ) who discussed the salient features of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, otherwise known as Republic Act 9344, and Gemma Gaboya, from the DSWD Central office, who tackled on the Social Workers’ role as one of the key pillars in cases involving youngsters as alleged perpetrator or victim.

The other six pillars included the aspect on law enforcement handled by Police Supt. Pepito Generan, the city Chief of Police; Prosecution, by Provincial Prosecutor Antonio Ruiz; the Court, by Judge Bethany Kapili, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 24; the Correction, by Francisco Milloren, the Parole and Probation Officer; the Community, by Board Member Jason Calva; and the Public Attyorney’s Office, by Atty. Misael J. Bidon, PAO District Lawyer.

Atty. Ruiz and Board Member Calva, however, were unable to come.

In his welcome address, City Vice-Mayor Maloney Samaco expressed the city’s elation on the holding of the one-day affair, saying children, indeed, need more special care and attention than adults.

The Vice-Mayor even put parents to task for the wrongdoing committed by their young children, stressing that parents are the ones to blame when kids have conflicts with the law.

RA 9344 put more emphasis on restorative justice and not on the usual application of justice which is described as retributive.

Retributive type of justice gives more weight to punishment of an offender regardless of age, while the restorative type focused more on diversion procedures, the young offender acknowledging the accountability of his/her act even as he/she undergoes character reformation in the process of re-integration into the mainstream of society.

“Children should not be treated like adult criminals,” Atty. Clementair stressed in her talk. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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