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[Date] 11-STEM

Topic: Age of Imprisonment

Issue: Reduction of the Age of Imprisonment

Stand: Disagree

Thesis Statement: Opposition on the age of criminal liability to 9 because of the abuse
of authority, and the concern about the welfare of the youth.

I. Introduction

Lowering the minimum age of criminal liability to age 9 and likewise can be
subjected to being sanctioned to a level of crime and punishment. It was mentioned
that children as young as 9 or above could be imprisoned already in the Philippines
for certain crimes under a law proposed law backed by the president, Rodrigo Duterte,
sparking concern last Monday, November 21, from the United Nations and rights

President Rody and his allies have been pushing to pass the law by December
2017 that would restore the death penalty and lower the minimum age of criminal
responsibility from 15 to 9. Supposedly, Rody only wanted the age threshold dropped
by 12, but his allies went one step further by suggesting it to be lowered to 9.

Under the previous law Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act authored by Sen. Francis
Pangilinan already has been amended in 2013 to address the concerns of the
President. Pangilinan mentioned that the law was made it mandatory for children to be
confined involuntarily of less than one year should the child commit serious offenses
such as homicide, murder, rape and illegal drugs.

II. Summary of Counterclaims

UN children's agency UNICEF was against the proposed law and reminded the
Philippines of its international obligations. Manila is a state party to the UN Convention
on the Rights of the Child, which says criminal responsibility below the age of 12 is
[Date] 11-STEM

not acceptable. They said that "Jail is no place for a child. It is alarming for children to
be institutionalized. It will be retrogression on the part of the Philippine Government."

It would also hugely decline the law on previous years regarding the juvenile of
the youth and care of them. It would be absurd for President Rody to allow the violent
force of police officers if ever there would be a violent act among the suspects even
though the suspect would be considered as a child.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan also reasoned that figures the Philippine National Police
in 2016 showed that only 2 percent of crimes reported were committed by minors, and
that going after them to address criminality was not a solution.

III. Argument

It is quite absurd for President Rody and his allies to push this such law
especially on the year where extrajudicial killing is rampant and psychopath killing is
evident. The past law of President Rody known as Oplan Tokhang has already cut-off
hundreds or thousands of innocent lives because of the shoot-to-kill.

Day by day, news would appear among us seeing that a minor or a child was
killed as a suspect of a drug syndicate and because of violent resistance against the
Police that would apprehend them. Being an iron first even to the youth would bring
such considerable effect; a childs brain is not as developed as an adults, especially in
the part of the brain that deals with the thought process on long-term consequences and
impulse control.

It would also take a critical hit to future generations especially if theyre left with
this traumatic experience. Child can still be rehabilitated with minor conflicts, unlike
adults that would take a tough time to rehabilitate. The law also would greatly be against
the advocacy of the UN (United Nation) and especially the childrens agency UNICEF
whose vision is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, their families and
[Date] 11-STEM

IV. Conclusion

Most citizens, senators, and organization had opposed the said law
especially it would affect the childrens welfare. Since the said law also contradicts
the amendments of the previous law regarding the juvenile justice and welfare of the
Youth. Life should be protected and molded into something that would bear good
fruit, not to diminish a life that would still give good fruit.