Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez

TACLOBAN CITY- Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez has justified her decision to lower the age of children for criminal liability.
In an interview, Romualdez said that children nowadays are capable of committing crimes and could escape from any criminal liabilities due to their minor age.
Romualdez was among the members of House of Representatives who voted to lower the criminal liability of children to 12 from the current 15.
Originally, the Congress has proposed to put the criminal liability of children to just 9 years which was met with strong opposition.
“I voted for it because we are not here to punish the children but to protect them from nefarious groups who are trying to take advantage of the children (in carrying out their illegal activities),” she said.
According to her, she has been receiving reports that minors who were involved in various illegal activities could not be detained by the law enforces due to their sheer young age.
“They are showing their birth certificates to prove that they are still minors and the police could not arrest them because they are still minors,” Romualdez said.
The lowering of age on the criminal liability of children is being vigorously opposed by various sectors saying it will go contrary to the policies in protecting children.
Under the proposed measure, children of age 12 could be criminally liable if they are involve in crimes like kidnapping, murder, infanticide and serious illegal detention.
And to soften those who opposes the measure, the bill now uses the term ‘age of social responsibility’ instead of criminal liability.
Rep. Romualdez, who is seeking for a congressional seat under the party-list Tingog, said that any issues that appears to be controversial relative to the lowering of the criminal age of minors, could still be solved.
“There is still a long process (involving it),” she said.