BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said his “heart bleeds for every death” in Davao City but blamed Senator Francis Pangilinan for the death of two minors shot by police during a recent robbery in a convenience store.
Duterte said “in this world you have to pay your debt” but added the two could not have reached the end of the road if there is no law that emboldened them to commit crimes.
Pangilinan is the author of the Juvenile Welfare and Protection Act which exempted minors from responsibility for crime committed.
This is what we earned from the Pangilinan law, said Duterte in the April 19 edition of the Sunday program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa on ABS/CBN Davao.
Duterte said the Pangilinan Law emboldened minors to commit crimes nationwide. The law completely absolves children 15 years and below, while discernment has to be established for those who are 18 years and below. Discernment, to be determined by a body composed of social workers, means the minor has appreciation of the crime and the consequence of his action.
The impact of this law on society should be the burden of Senator Pangilinan, Duterte said.
He said that because they are shielded by the law minors today have lost their sense of fear and responsibility and wantonly commit crimes.
Under the Pangilinan law, minors in conflict with law are released to parents or barangay officials after their arrest and counselling and then unleashed on society to commit more crimes, Duterte said.
Duterte said the cycle of violence will continue unless the law lowers down age of minority to 15 with 12 the age where minors may not be charged.
Duterte has urged the law be amended as youth crimes zoom up with police hands tied down by the Pangilinan law.
In the program, Duterte also batted for restoration of the death penalty with hanging as mode of execution to be implemented six month after the criminal is sentenced.