MANILA–President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday blamed Senator Francis Pangilinan for hurrying the passage of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act which he said caused the rise of criminality in the Philippines.
“The reason why there is so much criminality… nobody respects the law anymore. It’s because of that Pangilinan law,” Duterte said during the investiture ceremony of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in Malacañang,
He said that because of the Pangilinan law, young adults aged 15 and below who commit crimes such as murder and rape can simply be returned to their parents without any accountability.
“The problem with Pangilinan, he was too (much) in a hurry, pinalusot niya ‘yon kaya we produced about –15 years ago ‘yon –we produced about five, six generations of people who committed crimes and released on the same day irrespective of the gravity of the offense,” Duterte said.
The President pointed out that in the juvenile welfare laws of US states like New York and Washington from which Pangilinan copied his law, youth offenders are sent to a correctional facility or halfway house to be reformed before being released.
“There, they are lectured on responsibility sa gobyerno mo. Then the sense of accountability sa ginawa mong masama. Kaya ikukulong ka doon at lekturan ka. Hindi kulungan ‘yan. Correctional. I-correct ka lang. Correctional facility,” Duterte said.
But since this provision was absent in the Pangilinan law, youth offenders have no more fear of violating the law.
The President likewise said that the drug problem could also be blamed on the Pangilinan law.
“Generations of labas-pasok, using these guys as couriers of shabu. You cannot arrest them, 15 years old. They can be used and reused and utilized. Tapos labas-pasok sila. Lumaki sila na ang psychological setup is that there is no law or if there’s one, it does not have a bite,” he said.
“And now na malaki na sila, we have produced people who are of criminal minds. And that is why it is hard to stop the drug problem now,” Duterte said.