President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has a solution in mind to combat the various drug syndicates getting more creative to the point of using children in their illegal operations so they could avoid the law.
According to incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte is thinking of lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old.
The Davao del Norte representative said Duterte was considering this as a counter solution against syndicates blatantly using children as a front for criminal activities, Philstar reported.
Currently, the age protecting children from criminal liability stands at 15 years old.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. recalled that it was Senator Francis Pangilinan who made amendments to the Juvenile Justice System and Welfare Act in 2013 that raised the minimum age to 15.
"The bill will just bring back (the age of criminal responsibility) to 12. It used to be nine years old. And everybody was in favor of 12," said Belmonte.
If the proposal is passed into law, only children aged 12 years and below will be shielded from criminal liability.
This will allow Duterte, who has openly declared a war against drugs, to crack down on illegal drug operations using children as young as 13 years old.
He has also offered a P5 million reward for drug lords caught dead or alive during his thanksgiving party at the Crocodile Park in Davao City over the weekend.