Child Rights Network (CRN) takes exception to the recent comments of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that Miss Universe Catriona Gray “may have been misinformed of the facts” on the moves to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) from the current 15 years old to 12.
In an interview last Wednesday, the Philippines’ fourth Miss Universe said the country should “readjust” the focus from legislating a lower MACR to addressing the reasons why children commit crimes.
“I worked a lot with children, and anyone knows that children are not disposed to do that kind of act…or to act that way. It’s probably the circumstance of their environment or external pressures – whether it be from people or circumstance [that push children to commit crime],” Catriona said in an interview.
“The presidential spokesperson was quick to relegate the opposition to the lowering of MACR to mere political muckraking, discounting the tons of expert opinion and scientific studies that precisely counter this myopic move,” the group denounced in a statement.
Data from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology shows that about 86 children remain in their custody as of September 2018. (pr)