Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte’s bet as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Davao Del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez is considering to lower the age for minors to be held liable for crimes, in line with Duterte’s goal to suppress crimes in three (3) to six (6) months.
Alvarez said in an interview that most drug syndicates and drug lords choose younger allies.
“‘Yung minors natin, 15-years old below, ginagamit na ng mga sindikato. Ito yung number one reklamo ng mga law enforcers natin nung nag-ikot kami sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa,” Alvarez said.
Consequently, he will press on to passing a law which amends Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 authored by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan to make minors liable for crimes, although the exact age has yet to be decided.
“Yung age na hindi ka pwedeng i-prosecute, ibababa uli natin,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said that they have to do it as soon as possible because the presumptive president is a results-oriented person.
“He doesn’t want things slow; remember he promised changes in three to six months, because we have a crisis. Let’s face it, we have a crisis,” he told several party-list congressmen in Makati City.
Alvarez also said that aside from lowering the age of criminal liability for minor offenders, the restoration of the death penalty and amendments to the 1987 Constitution in order to shift the country’s form of government to federalism shall be made.
"We will start with changing the form of government. And, of course, he clearly stated that he wanted to restore the death penalty; we will do it. He stated he wanted to amend the Pangilinan Law; we will do it," Alvarez said.
"We want real change and we will do it," he added.