Criminal Liability

January 24, 2019

 

Crooks are using children to perpetrate their crimes. We all know about this, and we all agree that this menace must be stopped where it starts and that is right in our homes. This is why the proposal to mete jail time to parents of erring children needs serious consideration.
But those who are proposing that the age of criminal liability must be lowered to 9 years old are opening Pandora’s Box that could see our toddlers being prosecuted someday. This is a bit sarcastic of course. This could get closer to reality, however, when these crooks start eyeing children below aged below 9 years old because they cannot be prosecuted--yet again
Lowering the age of criminal liability is nothing but a game of limbo rock. We can keep lowering and lowering until we reach the bottom. Nevertheless, criminals will always find a way to bend the law, the inefficient implementation of which is the actual reason why people on the dark side get the chance to influence children to commit wrongful act.
We just need to run after criminals and make sure that the full force of the law punishes them. We cannot cuddle children in conflict with the law, but we do not need a change of policy that could feed our even younger children to the lions.
Prosecuting our children is same with admitting bluntly that our institutions tasked to uphold our humanity are failing us, that we have come to the point that even the little children have become threats to our society.
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This week, the City Government of Naga, particularly Mayor John G. Bongat, was at the receiving end of some unfavorable comments especially on social media when Mayor Bongat decided not to suspend the classes while the remnants of Tropical Depression Amang were showering some rains in Naga and in Camarines Sur.
I lean on the inkling that the decision was inspired by the fact that the passing weather disturbance did not bring in inclement weather in the city that could have threatened the welfare of everyone in Naga, the daily economy of which could be hurt by an unnecessary declaration.
Interestingly, the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur did suspend classes in all levels in the province during the same period. I could not blame Governor Migz Villafuerte also for that declaration, considering that the province is just reeling from the widespread flood and landslides that claimed lives in the aftermath of Tropical Depression Usman. It was the right call.
It is just a curious case, however, when there is no classes in the entire province while every student has to come to school in Naga, which is administratively detached from the provincial government being an independent component city, but is in the same latitude and longitude as the entire Camarines Sur.
The two chief executives acted on the best interests of their respective local governments and do not deserve second-guessing much more the so-called bashing.
To avoid the confusing and actually ridiculous situation, the national government through our weather bureau must establish clear guidelines so our local officials will know when to suspend classes because of the rains. The weather may be unpredictable but meteorology remains to be an exact science after all.

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