PURPOSE OF THE BILL
According to this bill the purpose is to expand the juvenile justice and welfare system and strengthening the social reintegration programs for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), amending Republic Act No.: 9344, as amended, otherwise known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006”.
Please see Committee Report No. 1071 for details.
WHY I DO NOT AGREE ON THIS HOUSE BILL NO. 8858- A new proposed law?
- Lack of understanding of who are children/adolescents and who are the adults. Providing a wrong solution to an increasing criminal occurrence.
- How to minimize the problem of Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL)? Preventing children to be involved in criminal activities.
- To treat children or adolescent as an adult is child abuse.
- Children should never be tried in court as adult and incarcerated with adults.
- Children if acquired a criminal record should not be counted against him until he reach an adulthood.
- It is not fair to hold a child responsible for something an adult is responsible.
Biblical hints as to who are the adults
Your corpses will fall in this wilderness—every single one of you who has been counted among you, according to your number from 20 years and above, who complained against me. (Num 14:29)
However, I’ll bring your little ones—the ones whom you claimed would become war victims—into the land so that they’ll know by experience the land that you’ve rejected. (Num 14:31)
In here, the Lord separates those who are Twenty (20) years old and above as adults. Below Twenty (20) years were called “little ones” or children.
In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and location to behave and knowing when to act, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in. (Wikipedia)
Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D, one of the world’s leading experts on Adolescence, is a Distinguised University Professor and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, the Temple University said and I quote,
“Adolescent are different from adults in ways that they are less responsible for their behaivior. They are more impulsive, are more short sighted and are easily influence by their peers”.
A file entitled, A conversation with Lawrence Steinberg; Are Young Killers Evil, or Works in Progress?
MINIMIZING THE CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW
The Concept of Authority, Responsibility and Accountability
Three (3) known Authority on Earth
- Divine Authority – where all powers comes from.
- Governmental Authority – authority receives from God to govern and made things in order. This includes Church and State with its separation under the constitution. God gave His instructions, guidelines, Laws, and statues for the government to implement thru the Bible.
- Parental Authority – the authority to care and discipline members of the family.
The FAMILY, Father, Mother and children, is the first unit of the society. God designed parents to take care and nourish the children in the manner under God’s direction. They are responsible to teach their children about the Laws of God.
“Now these are the commands, decrees, and ordinances that the LORD commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land you are entering to possess,
so that you, your children, and your grandchildren may fear the LORD your God. Keep all his decrees and commandments that I’m giving you every day of your life, so you may live a long time.
“Listen, Israel! Be careful to obey, so that life may go well for you and that you may increase greatly. Just as the LORD God of your ancestors told you, you’ll have a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Listen, Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
You are to love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
“Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always on your heart.
Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up.
Tie them as reminders on your forearm, bind them on your forehead,Deuteronomy 6: 1-9
and write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates.”
The Role of Parents
God gave Moses Ten Commandments and Laws for people to obey.
Jesus summarizes the whole law when He said, “
Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets.” (Mat 7:12)
The Role of the Church
The Church as an institution made by God to teach people the commandments of God and help society organize to be interdependent to support the families from breaking apart.
It is the main duty of the church to make families stronger and marriage in tact from the onslaught of life pressures. Counsel couples who are having difficulty in relationships to reconcile.
Divorce should not be use as a way out but the last resort if the hearts of one partner is really hard and no chance of reconciliation and forgiveness can be attained. Prayer and time can heal wounded hearts. When what God has put together, let no man separate.
Organize care groups and other non-governmental agencies to help and support couples spiritually, emotionally and materially. This group will act as extended families especially if the couples has no near relatives to help them in time of their need.
Why we have Children in Conflict with the Law? (CICL)
If marriage breakdown and the couple decided to separate or the father abandons his family, the children are left with a single parent left with all the burdens. The pain, bitterness, and confusion to the children devastated them like paper torn in several places. Children’s mind and heart were crushed creating unbearable pain that will destroy their aspirations, instigating a inner anger and rebellious spirit that produce lawlessness.
To them life is not worth living for. Ambitions, drives, and motivation suddenly disappears.
Their hatred will transform to violence and lead to criminal behavior. The deadly combination of poverty, broken and painful heart makes an individual a beast. Their inner anger just need a small spark to release an explosive expression.
Fatherlessness is also the reason of CICL.
When there are no models especially for an adolescent- in between childhood and adulthood, to look to, confusion of identity or sexual orientation can happen.
Adolescent needs a guide, somebody who can teach them discipline, responsibility, dependability and show them the right way. They need to stand on noble ideals and not to give in to peer pressures.
This problem is cause by when due to job opportunities and income is less in the country and difficult to sustain a family, fathers are looking for a greener pasture abroad, there are the Oversees Filipino Workers (OFW).
The dollar remittances to sustain a family has resulting effect of a dysfunctional family. Absentee father or mother. The children are left to the maid, grandmother, uncles and aunties or sometime to a non-relative who have no natural affection to their child.
Costing the society thousands of pesos for every neglected children growing with criminal tendency.
The Role of the Government under this issue
Every person must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by God’s permission. The existing authorities have been established by God, (Rom 13:1)
so that whoever resists the authorities opposes what God has established, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Rom 13:2)
For the authorities are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you like to live without being afraid of the authorities? Then do what is right, and you will receive their approval. (Rom 13:3)
For they are God’s servants, working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for it is not without reason that they bear the sword. Indeed, they are God’s servants to administer punishment to anyone who does wrong. (Rom 13:4)
The main role of the Government is the administration of justice.
If the government will punish the helpless and victimized children by circumstances and not the adults, then it is not performing its intended purpose by which was created.
The failures of the government to have a livable and economic prosperity to its governance contributes to the number of broken families.
Therefore, I am against of lowering the age of criminal liability.
This is a way to put the most easiest way to punish-the children; avoiding the failure to hold the person most responsible- the criminal adults.