Gutoc: No to jailing of children

OPPOSITION senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc slammed a legislation currently being deliberated in Congress seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years.

“The child should be in the playground, and not in jail,” Gutoc, representing the Tindig ng Pilipinas in the opposition coalition, told The PUNCH in an interview when she and three other opposition senate bets arrived in the city for their People’s Educational Forum at Abong na Alumni at the Dagupan City National High School on January 23.

 In opposing the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years old, she said “children belong to the care of the government and of his or her family and not in the violent hands of tightly congested jails”…

She called on the senate to be human by not approving the legislation seeking to lower the age of responsibility.

“We cannot accept that children as young as nine years old to be in jail where they will have no moral guidance, support and prayers from their parents and elders,” Gutoc said.

Gutoc also called on all parents to object to the proposed law.

 She said it appears that Congress has already given up its responsibility over the children by voting on the measure on the third and final reading.

He said the Filipinos should raise the issue before the U.N. because the Philippines is a signatory to the charter that created the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and to the statutes that guarantee the country’s obligation to protect children

With him in the forum were former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Atty. Chel Diokno and Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano, all running for senator. (Leonardo Micua)

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