Dear Honorable Senators of the 17th Congress of the Philippines,
We are the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), a social development and advocacy network of 250+ non-government organizations, church faith-based groups and people’s organization involve in the advocacy for justice, peace and rights of nature.
We appeal to you NOT to VOTE in favor of lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility; instead maintain the current age limit and implement fully the law on Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
We firmly believe that in the commission of crime involving children, it is the children who are the victims. They commit crimes because they still lack fully developed faculties that enable one to decide what is right from wrong. They are the ones needing proper guidance and support as revealed by clinical studies where children are found to have yet to mature psychologically, emotionally and rationally in this age bracket.
Likewise to be locked-up in jails with bigger and stronger boys and girls predisposes them to dangers of emotional, physical and sexual assaults as witnessed by many of our partners working with children in jails.
We hope that your compassionate, loving, fatherly and motherly instincts can overcome the legal and rational adults within you and decide against this bill that you are currently deliberating on.
We put our trust to you dear Senators, as we have been badly and hurtfully failed by our lawmakers in the lower house.
Praying for compassionate and just decision for our children.