Tulfo’s erroneous reading of RA 10630
RAMON TULFO gravely erred in his column “Live and let live policy, if Binay is elected” (Metro, 1/28/16).
Under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, children aged 15 and below who commit a serious offense are mandatorily placed for a period of not less than one year in the Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (IJISC) within the youth care facility called Bahay Pag-asa. These children are not to be released and have to undergo intensive rehabilitation and intervention as determined by the multidisciplinary team of the IJISC. Also, the law clearly states that “the exemption from criminal liability herein established does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced in accordance with existing laws.”
Strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, amendments introduced by former senator Francis Pangilinan were signed into law, Republic Act No. 10630, in July 2013. Apart from the establishment of the IJISC, the law clarified procedures for children below the minimum age of criminal responsibility, including those who commit serious offenses. The law states that any child aged 12 to 15 who commits a serious offense punishable by more than 12 years imprisonment should be deemed a neglected child under the Child and Youth Welfare Code. As a neglected child, the minor should be placed in the IJISC. The social welfare officer of the local government unit where the crime was committed or the social worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is required to file a petition in the court for the involuntary confinement of the minor in the IJISC where the child is to undergo appropriate intervention programs.
What is so harebrained about these processes, like Tulfo sees it? Just because the processes are restorative rather than punitive in nature does not make them wrong. That is what Tulfo adamantly ignores in spite of the numerous letters to the editor written to clarify and explain the essence of the law. Tulfo never bothered to correct his assumptions; worse, he continues to spread falsehoods about the law and sows confusion in the public mind.
It is vital that journalists write informed opinions because they have the power to change and shape the view of their audience. More importantly, it is their responsibility to provide truths instead of presenting opinions as facts. If this kind of opinion-making continues, we will be raising a generation of Filipinos that believes in inaccuracy.
—RACHEL G. GILLEGO, chief of staff, Office of Francis Pangilinan
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