Revilla cautions Congress on penalty for young offenders

EDUCATION, NOT IMPRISONMENT

MANGALDAN—Former senator Ramon ‘Bong” Revilla Jr. said the move to lower the threshold age for criminal liability must be tackled with extra caution because of the trauma that the child will likely experience while in detention.

Revilla, who was acquitted last month by the Sandiganbayan of plunder over pork barrel scam case, told local newsmen in a sortie here Thursday where he was welcomed by a cheering crowd.

“Kung nagkamali na noon kailangan ngayon itama huwag nating baliwalain yang problema na yan,”  he intoned.

 He added, “Wag madaliin, pag-aralang mabuti.” 

Citing his own experience languishing in jail for 4 yours, he said focus must be given on the provision of education to children who would be jailed since the effects of imprisonment and the trauma the child would experience could be irreparable.

Revilla said he feels traumatized whenever the matter on imprisonment is discussed.

He said it would be harder for children.

He said the imprisoned children would feel trauma, too, and once released from jail, they could become worse and turn into criminals so this (move) has to be studied carefully.

He pointed out that the problem also starts with parents and they, too, must be held liable.

“Why do they allow their kids on the streets? The kids might think what they are doing is correct. They must guide them,” he said.

Revilla said he would prefer lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12, “not really 9 because the child is still very young  (at that age)”.

“That really is painful in the heart because I have experienced being imprisoned. Imagine the child being separated from his or her parents because he or she was used by criminals. These criminals must be the ones to be killed by hanging,” he added.- (PhilStar Wire Service)

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