Lawmakers scrap lowering the age of criminal responsibility
The House of Representatives justice committee rejected the bill that seeks to lower the age of criminal liability. Members of the subcommittee on correctional reforms voted to substitute a new draft, which retains 15 as the minimum age of Filipinos who may be held criminally liable. Instead of lowering the age of criminality to 9 years old, the new draft proposes to raise stiffer penalties for adults who are found to have coerced children into criminal acts. The new version of the bill also revised how authorities should handle apprehended kids age 15 and younger. The current Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 state that children below the age of criminal responsibility are to be turned over to their parents or guardians. Under the new proposal, officials are to turn over apprehended minors to the local social welfare and development officer to assess if it is in the child's best interest to be released to their guardians, placed under foster care, or in a youth care center. (inquirer.net)
PNP instructs Ariana Grande PH concert organizer to tighten security
Following the explosion that shook Manchester Arena in England just minutes after pop music star Ariana Grande ended her show, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that no Filipinos were included in the casualties, but they will continue to monitor the situation, DFA acting spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar told GMA News Online.
As of this writing, 22 people are now confirmed dead, including an 8-year-old girl, with more than 59 injured. According to reports, a suicide bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi executed the attack. The bomb he was carrying exploded in the foyer area of the arena just as when parents were picking up their tween and teenage kids who went to see the first of three scheduled concerts in London.
Ariana has canceled the remaining two concert dates. It is also still unclear whether the rest of her European and Latin American tour will go as planned. "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don't have words," Ariana tweeted the morning after the bombing. Other celebrities also took to social media to condemn the attack.
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The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, now considered the worst terrorist attack in the U.K. since June 7, 2005 where 56 people. The country's official threat level from international terrorism has been "severe" when the bombing happened; it is now "critical," a first in 10 years.
Grande is set to perform her "Dangerous Woman" tour at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on August 21, 2017. There is no word yet whether the concert will be moved or canceled in light of what happened. But Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, says that should it happen the concert organizer MMI Live must coordinate with the local police unit so they can extend security assistance to ensure the safety of concert-goers, which they expect are mostly (telegraph.co.uk)
Martial law declared in Mindanao President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Mindanao under martial law, according to Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. The declaration was made "on the grounds of existing rebellion" after government forces and terrorist groups in Marawi City, lead by the Maute group, erupted Tuesday afternoon. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained that although the armed conflict is confined in Marawi City, the president decided to declare martial law the all over Mindanao because of security problems in nearby areas like in Sulu, Zamboanga peninsula, Central Mindanao and the Davao Region.
At least three government personnel have been killed while 12 others have been injured in clashes with the terrorist group. "The government is in full control of the situation and is fully aware that the Maute/IS and similar groups have the capability, though limited, to disturb the peace; these have shown no hesitation in causing havoc, taking innocent lives and destroying property,” Abella stressed. President Duterte had to cut his four-day trip to Russia short and is expected to be back in the country this afternoon. (cnnphilippines.com)
Anti-distracted driving law suspended Due to public criticism and lawmakers' calls to defer its implementation, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Metro Manila Development Authority, and the PNP Highway Patrol Group suspended Republic Act No. 10913, or the Anti-distracted Driving Law. The DOTr said that it was going to revive its technical working group to review the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Lawmakers also told transportation officials they should have conducted an "aggressive" information and education campaign "for a period of six months from the effectivity" of the law. Many citizens complained about the Anti-distracted Driving Act's unclear rules, such as the definition of "line of sight" and the position for gadgets that help drivers with directions and traffic updates. (rappler.com)