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PIA Press Release
2007/04/14

Senator awaits Duterte’s say on juvenile law amendments

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (14 April) -- Re-electionist Senator Francis Pangilinan, author of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (RA 9344) is waiting for the recommendations and suggestions of Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the latter expressed objection on the said law.

In his recent visit to Davao, Pangilinan claimed that he is currently conducting consultations from different groups which he found necessary in making amendments to the law.

“We are open to whatever changes that the people would like to do. I think Mayor Duterte raised his concern on the issue of custody,” he said.

Meanwhile, the senator is monitoring developments from all over the country as the law is being enacted. He admitted that this, being a new law, is expected to receive varying reactions from the society.

“We are looking at the possibility of amending some of the implementing rules and regulations,” he added.

The Act, which was passed unanimously by is a response to criticisms of the conditions under which young offenders were being held in prisons.

Data from the United Nations Children’s Fund showed that there were 4,000 children imprisoned at the end of 2005 and most of them are those who committed minor crimes.

With the new law, children under the age of 15 cannot be charged with a crime. For 15 to 18 year old juveniles, diversion proceedings away from the court are the preferred method for responding to crimes that carry a possible sentence of six years or less.

Enacted in May 2006, over 500 children all over the country were transferred from jails to youth homes and an estimated 1,500 criminal cases against young offenders will be dismissed as the law is implemented retroactively. (PIA XI) [top]

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