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Church rights workers join calls against lowering of minimum age of criminal liability

Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And after He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there. – Mark 10:13-16

The Ramento Project for Rights Defenders joined the ecumenical gathering dubbed as One Faith, One Nation, One Voice in Raja Sulayman yesterday, Jan. 25, to add to the growing public outcry over the attacks against the Church, and unjust government policies as seen in the latest attempt to infringe on the rights and welfare of children with the railroading of the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

RPRD Executive Director Revd Jonash Joyohoy said that as “the present administration fails at every turn to curb both criminality and illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte is now focusing the government’s might and resources to put behind bars one of the most vulnerable sectors of our society – the children.”

This week, much has been said regarding the railroading of the bill that aims to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to nine years old. Following the strong public outcry, lawmakers seemed to have back downed and increased the proposed lowering of the minimum age of “social responsibility” to 12.

“The future of this country’s children is non-negotiable,” Fr. Joyohoy reminded lawmakers.

The Ramento Project for Rights Defenders hails human rights and child rights welfare advocacy groups for exposing the Duterte administration’s move that puts in perils the rights and welfare of Filipino children.

He added that at the heart of Duterte’s move to criminalize children instead of the adults who are manipulating and victimizing them speaks so much of a cold-hearted administration who are using the most vulnerable to cover up for their failure to address the roots of poverty in the country.

He said, “the children, the country’s future, must be protected at all cost.” (RPRD News)

Photo courtesy of Janess Ann J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com

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