House passes bill lowering age of criminal liability on second reading

Minimum age of criminal responsibility now pegged at 12 years old in amended bill

(Eagle News) — The House of Representatives has passed on second reading the bill lowering the age of criminal responsibility.

House justice committee chair Doy Leachon said the approved HB 8858, however, was amended to make the minimum age of criminal liability 12 years old.

“More than majority of the members said na 12 na lang,” he said.

Under the amended measure, the term “criminal” was also replaced with “social” responsibility.

Leachon said it also includes provisions that specify the construction and funding of Bahay Pag-asa, where the children who commit serious offenses will be confined under the proposal.

The bill that hurdled the committee level on Monday, Jan. 21, had pegged the age of criminal liability to nine years old.

The Senate has a pending bill that seeks to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 13 years old.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vocal about the need to lower the age of criminal responsibility, saying children were already being used by criminals in their illegal activities.