Alarm over pro­posed law to jail 9-year-olds

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

MANILA: Chil­dren as young as nine could be jailed in the Philip­pines for cer­tain crimes un­der a pro­posed law backed by the pres­i­dent, spark­ing con­cern from the United Na­tions and rights groups yes­ter­day.

Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte’s al­lies have been push­ing to pass laws by De­cem­ber that would re­store the death penalty and lower the min­i­mum age of crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity from 15 to 9.

Duterte won May elec­tions largely be­cause of a vow to kill tens of thou­sands of drug deal­ers, also promis­ing on the cam­paign trail to close a loop­hole in the ju­ve­nile jus­tice sys­tem that he said al­lowed traf­fick­ers to use mi­nors as nar­cotic couri­ers.

While Duterte wanted the age thresh­old dropped to 12, his al­lies went one step fur­ther by call­ing for it to be low­ered to nine.

The UN chil­dren’s agency Unicef re­minded the Philip­pines of its in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions on the Rights of the Child, which says crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity be­low the age of 12 is not ac­cept­able. – AFP

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