Outrage over proposed Manila child crime law

Rights groups condemn proposed legislation that will send offenders as young as 12 to jail

Activists in front of the Senate building in Manila yesterday rallying against the Bill to lower the age of criminal liability.
Activists in front of the Senate building in Manila yesterday rallying against the Bill to lower the age of criminal liability.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A proposed law lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 is stirring up a maelstrom in the Philippines, as backers of the measure square off with activists over when children could be held responsible for their actions and sent to jail.

The Bill, approved on Monday by the House of Representatives' justice committee, originally set the age at nine. But faced with growing outrage, it conceded two days later that a more acceptable age would be 12, and passed the proposal on second reading.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2019, with the headline 'Outrage over proposed Manila child crime law'. Subscribe