Tag Archives: MACR

[Statement] 2019 Salinlahi statement on the non-passage of LMACR bill

Salinlahi congratulates the organizations and advocates that have been actively taking part in the campaign against the lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old. Such triumph, although maybe temporary, considering the current political landscape, is undeniably a leap forward in our collective struggle in protecting and defending the rights and welfare of Filipino children and their marginalized families.

It is noteworthy to underscore the concerted efforts of the broad opposition that foiled the attempt to legislate this anti-children and anti-poor measure despite the fact that such measure is included among the 12 priority legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Salinlahi together with various child rights groups in the Philippines persevered in emphasizing that entrenched poverty in the country is one of the push factors why thousands of children resort to committing crimes for survival; that the government should perceive children in conflict with the law (CICL) as victims of circumstances they are into and therefore should be treated in a restorative way; that there are already scientific studies and researches showing that the developmental immaturity of children mitigates their criminal culpability and; that the move to lower the minimum age of criminal liability is tantamount to abandoning our international commitment on children’s rights. Moreover, we also highlighted the urgency of fully implementing the JJWA before any amendments to the law.

We prevailed in our stand that the promotion of the rights and welfare of children is mainly an obligation of the state, which is a sharp contrast to Duterte’s fascist and tyrannical leadership as it put the lives of Filipino children in great peril by implementing policies like war on drugs, martial law in Mindanao and by also proposing the revival of mandatory reserved officer’s training corps (ROTC) for senior high school.

In 2017, Salinlahi led the formation of Unity of Child Rights Advocates Against Inhumane Treatment of Neglect of Children (UNCHAIN Children) that lobbied with various government agencies and officials. Various advocacy activities were conducted in offices, in schools, and in communities in order to create wide public support that could reinforce our initiatives at the policy level. Legislative forum in the House of Representatives and Senate of the Philippines was initiated to raise the awareness of the legislators and their staff on the issue and convince them not to support the proposed amendment. Meanwhile, lawmakers were insistent on their argument that syndicates are using children in criminality.

We express gratitude to all the child rights groups, human rights organizations, medical professionals, faith-based institutions and child experts who actively participated in the committee and sub-committee hearings as well as plenary sessions to discuss our stand that only fell on the deaf ears of most of the legislators who deviously railroad its approval in the lower house.

We highly commend the 34 legislators who voted down the proposed bill including the party-list representatives of the Makabayan Bloc such Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Kabataan, and Anakpawis – who also delivered privilege speeches and interpellated during plenary sessions to re-echo our position. At the same time, we highly appreciate the commitment of some senators to defend the JJWA including Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Francis Pangilinan, Riza Hontiveros, Win Gatchalian, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino and Leila De Lima.

More importantly, Salinlahi commends the more than 600 organizations and individuals that are actively campaigning against the passage of the bill including the member organizations of Salinlahi, UNCHAIN Children, Child Rights Network (CRN), Civil Society Coalition on Convention on the Rights of the Child (CSC-CRC), National Council for Social Development (NCSD), Philippine Action for Youth Offenders (PAYO), UNICEF, among others. We also give thanks to showbiz and media personalities who also joined in the #ChildrenNotCriminals #NotoLoweringMACR campaign such as Catriona Gray, Anne Curtis, Cherry Pie Picache, Pen Medina, Ebe Dancel, and Ryza Cenon.

We also recognize all the individuals especially children who mobilized during the coordinated actions that serve as a platform to sharply register our call. Creative forms of protest were also maximized including candle-lighting, dancing, street and theater plays, songwriting and visual arts.

It’s truly a success in our children’s work advocacy in the Philippines. We’ve learned a lot of lessons that could be replicated in our future campaigns on issues concerning children, specifically the importance of creating linkages and unity between various groups and sectoral organizations, both local and international, in order to deliver a strong message towards the government and policymakers.

The fight for children’s rights and welfare is far from over. We are certain that there will be another attempt in the 18th Congress to lower the MACR, especially with the overwhelming victory of Duterte’s allies in Congress. Therefore there still is a need to sustain the victory we have achieved in this campaign to overcome the challenging period ahead.

The people united will never be defeated! ###

For the Filipino Children,

Salinlahi Alliance For Children’s Concerns

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[In the news] Grace Poe reiterates opposition to lowering MACR, says go after the syndicates instead -Manila Bulletin

Cracking down on youth offenders instead of crime syndicates that use them is but “laziness” on the part of the government, Senator Grace Poe said.

Poe issued the statement as she reiterated her opposition to the proposals to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from the present 15 years old to 12 years old.

“Imbes na parusahan natin ‘yong mga bata, parusahan natin ‘yong sindikato. Katamaran naman ‘yon na ang bata ang ating kukunin dahil madali (Instead of punishing children, we should punish that use them to commit crimes. I think its laziness that we will go after the children just because they are easier to catch),” she told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

While she noted that the current MACR has already been abused, the senator said law enforcers could use the help of juvenile delinquents to go after criminal groups.

Click the link to read more:

https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/05/30/grace-poe-reiterates-opposition-to-lowering-macr-says-go-after-the-syndicates-instead/?fbclid=IwAR0RaiHWa8AIIVfGDwRWNlMzEzaX5eveqfvGBSRn1s8F2bDyI2kgyOHITd0

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Right-Up] BATANG BILANGGO, EDAD SIYAM? -ni Greg Bituin Jr.

BATANG BILANGGO, EDAD SIYAM?

tama bang sa edad siyam, ang bata na’y mapiit?
hustisya na ba sa bansa’y ganito na kalupit?
sa murang gulang, karapatan niya’y pinagkait
kinulong dahil sindikato sa kanya’y gumamit

batang edad siyam ay dapat na raw maikulong
panukalang ito sa Kongreso’y isinusulong
pag bata’y gumawa ng krimen at agad sinuplong
kulong agad habang laya ang nag-atas na buhong!

ano nang nangyari sa ating mga mambabatas?
krimen ba’y di na kaya ng kapulisang malutas?
di na mapigil ng maykapangyarihan ang dahas?
mga sakit ba ng lipunan ay wala nang lunas?

mga magulang ba ng batang bilanggo’y pabaya?
bakit magulang ay kayod ng kayod ngunit dukha?
mga bata ba’y inabandona na’t isinumpa?
o problema’y ang sistemang nagdulot ng dalita?

bakit nais makulong ang bata, ano ang sanhi?
halina’t pag-isipan, patuloy tayong magsuri
dulot kaya ito ng pagkakaiba sa uri?
o baka mambabatas ay hungkag ang mga budhi?

– gregbituinjr.

Follow Greg sa Fb (Mga tula’t akda ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.)

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] LOOK: Child rights groups stage protest at Senate to oppose lowering MACR -INQUIRER.net

LOOK: Child rights groups stage protest at Senate to oppose lowering MACR

Different child rights groups have staged a protest outside the Senate complex on Monday to oppose the proposed law that would lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) for minors.

Groups such as the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend), the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of the Manila Priory and the Academic Community of St. Scholastica’s College and other organizations flocked to the gates of the Senate complex as they urged lawmakers to halt the lowering of the MACR.

Read full article @newsinfo.inquirer.net

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] IDEALS, Inc.’s Statement on the Lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

IDEALS, Inc.’s Statement on the Lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

This administration is failing an entire generation of Filipino children. Thousands are already orphaned from the bloody anti-drug campaign. Now, under a proposed legislation, they will be jailed and tried as hardened criminals.

On January 28, Congress passed on third and final reading House Bill 8858, which lowers the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from 15 to 12 years old. In an effort to soften public backlash against it, the bill “raised” its initial proposal of setting the age to merely nine years old, and reworded “criminal responsibility” to “social responsibility.” This, however, is just a ruse to sugarcoat the cruel backwardness catalyzed by the Duterte administration.

Based on data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), only 1.72% of total crimes are committed by children and youths. Majority are petty crimes such as theft of cash and food items— crimes that are often rooted into deeper social and economic issues.

We decry the halting of young lives by a criminal justice system that will be made even more cruel if such a legislation is enacted, especially when convicted politicians enjoy their liberties and run free. Passing this bill will effectively whip scapegoats instead of cracking down on the big fish that manipulate the children, further promoting marginalization among the people.

IDEALS Inc. is one with the broad alliance of child rights advocates in fiercely condemning the lowering of the MACR to 12 years old. Article 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly states that children in conflict with the law must be treated “in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth… and which takes into account the child’s age and the desirability of promoting the child’s reintegration” in society.

We challenge the Duterte Administration to stop making criminals out of its citizens and abandon its fixation on punitive justice and dangerous shortcuts. The State is duty-bound ‘to ensure that children grow up in a safe environment protected from crime and violence,” not rob them of their lives and the opportunity to reintegrate and become future contributors to the development of society.

#JailNoChild #ChildrenNotCriminals #Not12Not9
Sign this petition to show your support: bit.ly/childrennotcriminals

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Doctors unite to oppose bill lowering age of criminal liability -GMAnews

Doctors unite to oppose bill lowering age of criminal liability

The country’s leading alliances of pediatricians, child psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and medical specialists have united to express their strong opposition to the bill seeking to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Before the press on Thursday, the following medical organizations declared they are backing child rights advocates in the fight against House Bill 8858, which would lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 12:

 

  • Philippine Pediatric Society
  • Child Neurology Society Philippines
  • Philippine Society for Development and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Philippine Society of Adolescent Medicine Specialists
  • Philippine Psychiatric Association
  • Philippine Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Child Protection Network
  • Child Rights Network of the Philippines
  • Philippine Medical Association

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] Duterte’s MACR not about children, but Dictatorship -iDefend

Duterte’s MACR not about children, but Dictatorship

Legislators aim to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) to below fifteen (15) years old in such a rushed manner, seemingly ignoring all scientific evidence and expert warnings, as if the country is being run down by children rampaging in the streets causing public mayhem and mass pandemonium. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate provide evidence that lowering the MACR will substantially contribute to solving criminality or drug trafficking.

But before they were children in conflict with the law (CICL) they were children living in poverty (CLIP), vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation. Many of them have become the President’s “collateral damage” in his anti-drug operations; thousands have witnessed extreme violence, became traumatized orphans bereft of adult supervision and social guidance. They will never trust the government again.

In lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, our children are sacrificed as an excuse for lousy law enforcement, inept crime prevention and failed development policies. Instead of enacting national protective and rehabilitation mechanisms for poor minors affected by the multiple impact of deepening poverty, organized crime and extrajudicial killings, government wants to punish them for these social maladies.

This is typical of government’s quick-fix, trigger-happy, corruption-bred policies that are solely focused on terrorizing the population in the guise of addressing crime. House Bill 8858 is not about protecting children, but a political deal between House Speaker GMA and President Duterte that must be accomplished before the election period starts.

Lowering the MACR is yet another brick laid in the foundation of Duterte’s authoritarian project. It is railroaded on the people while extrajudicial killings continue to victimize drug suspects, political critics, peace activists and human rights defenders. It is pushed to demonstrate Duterte’s drive for dictatorship. And dictatorship must be established if Duterte’s cronies and allies are to continue to dominate and profit from the country’s political and economic life with impunity.

Thus resisting dictatorship is to resist the lowering of the MACR, and all other proposed “death bills” that Congress enact which have nothing to do with crime prevention, national reconciliation, poverty alleviation, peace and security or social justice.

[In the news] Anne Curtis saddened by proposal to lower age of criminal liability -INQUIRER.net

Anne Curtis saddened by proposal to lower age of criminal liability

Actress Anne Curtis has expressed her stand on lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.

“Nakakalungkot isipan na ibaba nila ang criminal responsibility to the age of 9. At that age, they are still very much children,” Curtis wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

This was a response to a tweet by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Philippines that read: “May batas na tayo para sa mga children in conflict with the law: ang Juvenile Justice & Welfare Act (RA 9344).”

“Ngunit hindi ito nabibigyan ng tamang pondo at suporta para sa tamang implementation nito sa buong bansa,” it added.

Read full article @entertainment.inquirer.net

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] UN’s Callamard slams lowering age of criminal liability; Palace reacts -GMAnews

UN’s Callamard slams lowering age of criminal liability; Palace reacts

United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard took to Twitter to criticize the bill in the House of Representatives seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility to nine years old.

Callamard on Monday called the proposal “shameful” and “potentially deadly” after the House justice committee approved the measure for the consideration of the plenary.

The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Law, which sets the minimum age of criminal liability at 15 years old. A counterpart measure in the Senate aims to set the age of criminal responsibility at 13.

Read full article @www.gmanetwork.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Senators disagree on lowering age of criminal liability -CNN Philippines

Senators disagree on lowering age of criminal liability

Senators are divided on the move to lower the age of criminal liability, even as Senate President Tito Sotto maintained that majority of the upper chamber’s members are in favor of the move.

Sotto said senators would only have to discuss the minimum age it would be lowered to.

“But the important thing is that we all agreed that it should be lower and they should be held accountable,” Sotto told reporters Monday after the House Justice panel passed a bill lowering the age of criminal responsibility to nine from 15 years old.

Read full article @cnnphilippines.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] DISCARD this bill on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility! -BALAOD MINDANAW

BALAOD Mindanaw, Inc. is deeply distraught by the decision of the House of Representatives – Committee Level approving the bill on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 9 years old! We reiterate our stand that this bill is not the solution to the increasing crime rate in the Philippines! This bill further exposes the Filipino children to more abuse and exploitation as opposed to what the majority of these lawmakers make themselves believe!

IT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY PROTECT OUR CHILDREN!

The approval of this bill in the lower house is not just alarming but severely disturbing that our legislators seems to deliberately disregard the true essence of their constitutional mandate of serving and protecting the life, liberty, and property of its people. They continuously pass a number of laws and propose bills that does not in any way promote social justice, value the dignity of every human person, and/or guarantee full respect for human rights.

Our 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that our beloved country is a democratic and a republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from the people. Now, we appeal to the sovereign public to join us in urging the legislators to stop showing their disdain to our Filipino children!

We call on the Congress to listen to our cry!

DISCARD this bill on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility!

Propose a bill and approve a law focusing on the forceful strengthening of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act instead!

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.