THE JUVENILE LAWIntroduction The Republic Act No. 9344 also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Actof 2006 of the Philippines was being implemented last July 25, 2005. The author of thislaw is Senator Francis “kiko” Pangilinan, and it was approved by the congress, senateand the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her term. Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, shall cover the different stagesinvolving children at risk and children in conflict with the law from prevention torehabilitation and reintegration. Thus, this law battled a lot of controversies from the people and governmentofficials because of the negative impact to the society in terms of criminality rate. Mostof the minor criminals were being involved due to the empowerment of the oldies andcriminal as they choose to use the minors that boils down to child labor, humantrafficking, killings, thief, drugs and other crimes in which children were being involved. In October of 2011, the proposal of lowering the age of criminal responsibility ofchildren from fifteen (15) years old down to nine (9) years old was not approved andagreed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Social Welfare andDevelopment (DSWD). DOJ and DSWD believed that the children in conflict with thelaw are those who are neglected and lacked parental love and guidance; those whocome from impoverished and dysfunctional families; whose parents are jobless orseparated; whose environment is filled with air of violence; or whose community istolerant of offending crimes as their normal way of living. These are reality bites thatconquer their motivations for survival.
Children who have done wrong, while exempt from criminal responsibility are notabsolutely free of accountability, but a different or special justice system for them isprescribed by law. The juvenile justice system still holds them accountable to childappropriate procedures that will see through their atonement. The Philippine government is a signatory of international treaties and covenantsin recognition and protection of children’s rights. It is obliged to align its laws with theprinciples and provisions of such agreements. The Talomo Police Station in Davao City under the supervision of PoliceSuperintendent Dionisio Abude he created a scholarship rehabilitation program for allthe young criminals covered by their areas. At present, there are six scholars who are inthe hands of the police officials. This program signifies the good intention of the policenot just by serving and protecting people but also teaching and guiding people in theright path of their lives. He also conducted a forum on gang members in CatalunanPequeno last September 28, 2012, to unite all the gang members and educate themwith their parents and barangay officials.DiscussionWhat is R.A 9344? It is an act establishing a comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System,creating the Juvenile Justice and Welfare council under the Department of Justice,appropriating funds, therefore and for other purposes.
This Act shall be known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.” Itshall cover the different stages involving children at risk and children in conflict with thelaw from prevention to rehabilitation and reintegration.Juvenile Justice and Welfare System This refers to a system dealing with children at risk and children in conflict withthe law, which provides child-appropriate proceedings, including programs and servicesfor prevention, diversion, rehabilitation, re-integration and aftercare to ensure theirnormal growth and development.Children: Ages and Risk covered by the Law All person under the age of eighteen (18) years are protected by this law. Child at Risk refers to a child who is vulnerable to and at the risk of committingcriminal offenses because of personal, family and social circumstances, such as, butnot limited to, the following:(1) being abused by any person through sexual, physical, psychological, mental,economic or any other means and the parents or guardian refuse, are unwilling, orunable to provide protection for the child; (2) being exploited including sexually oreconomically; (3) being abandoned or neglected, and after diligent search and inquiry,the parent or guardian cannot be found; (4) coming from a dysfunctional or brokenfamily or without a parent or guardian; (5) being out of school; (6) being a street-child;(7) being a member of a gang; (8) living in a community with a high level of criminality ordrug abuse; and (9) living in situations of armed conflict.
Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. A child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of the commission of theoffense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected toan intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act.A child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise beexempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program, unlesshe/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to theappropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act. The exemption from criminalliability herein established does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall beenforced in accordance with existing laws.Structures of R.A 9344. A Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) is hereby created and attachedto the Department of Justice and placed under its administrative supervision. The JJWCshall be chaired by an undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare andDevelopment. It shall ensure the effective implementation of this Act and coordinationamong the following agencies:Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC); Department of Education (DepEd);Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Public Attorney’s Office(PAO); Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR); Parole and Probation Administration (PPA);National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); Philippine National Police (PNP); Bureau of JailManagement and Penology (BJMP); Commission on Human Rights (CHR); Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); National Youth Commission(NYC); and Other institutions focused on juvenile justice and intervention programs.The JJWC shall coordinate with the Office of the Court Administrator and the PhilippineJudicial Academy to ensure the realization of its mandate and the proper discharge ofits duties and functions, as herein provided.Role of different sectors involved in R.A 9344 Law. The family shall be responsible for the primary nurturing and rearing of childrenwhich is critical in delinquency prevention. As far as practicable and in accordance withthe procedures of this Act, a child in conflict with the law shall be maintained in his/herfamily. Educational institutions shall work together with families, communityorganizations and agencies in the prevention of juvenile delinquency and in therehabilitation and reintegration of child in conflict with the law. Schools shall provideadequate, necessary and individualized educational schemes for children manifestingdifficult behavior and children in conflict with the law. In cases where children in conflictwith the law are taken into custody or detained in rehabilitation centers, they should beprovided the opportunity to continue learning under an alternative learning system withbasic literacy program or non- formal education accreditation equivalency system. The mass media shall play an active role in the promotion of child rights, anddelinquency prevention by relaying consistent messages through a balanced approach.Media practitioners shall, therefore, have the duty to maintain the highest critical andprofessional standards in reporting and covering cases of children in conflict with the
law. In all publicity concerning children, the best interest of the child should be theprimordial and paramount concern. Any undue, inappropriate and sensationalizedpublicity of any case involving a child in conflict with the law is hereby declared aviolation of the child’s rights.Rehabilitation and Reintegration. Female children in conflict with the law placed in an institution shall be givenspecial attention as to their personal needs and problems. They shall be handled byfemale doctors, correction officers and social workers, and shall be accommodatedseparately from male children in conflict with the law. No personnel of rehabilitation and training facilities shall handle children inconflict with the law without having undergone gender sensitivity training. The Local Government Units (LGUs) shall set aside an amount to build youthdetention homes as mandated by the Family Courts Act. Youth detention homes mayalso be established by private and NGOs licensed and accredited by the DSWD, inconsultation with the JJWC. A child in conflict with the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court,be made to serve his/her sentence, in lieu of confinement in a regular penal institution,in an agricultural camp and other training facilities that may be established, maintained,supervised and controlled by the BUCOR, in coordination with the DSWD. Children in conflict with the law, whose sentences are suspended may, uponorder of the court, undergo any or a combination of disposition measures best suited tothe rehabilitation and welfare of the child as provided in the Supreme Court Rule onJuveniles in Conflict with the Law.
Police responsibility. Are men in uniform doing their job appropriately? Are they effective inimplementing and promoting peace and order of country? How do they connect withordinary people, government officials and to the criminals? “To serve and protect”, this is the battle cry of the Philippine National Policewherein they will serve and protect the people as they promise their responsibilities andobligations. It is said to be that they will give justice, provide security and safety for thepublic 24/7. Ordinary people believed that they are safe and secured when they seemen in uniform, while criminals are afraid to see around them, victims of criminalityrejoice when police rescue them, and Government officials loved them as they can dowhatever they do when the police is being around them. These are the realities that thepeople have been seen, experienced, and agonized in everyday of their lives.Conclusion R.A 9344 Law helped the criminal children to build their spirits in fighting theirrights as provided by the Law. They will enjoy all the benefits of this law until such timemost of them recover from all their failures, and stand to live their life harmony and lovefrom their parents, relatives, government and supporters. The implications of this law will tolerate the children who are protected by the lawto let themselves appeared in different types of criminality in the society. No doubtswhen child labor will increase because of this law since the violators can manipulate thechildren as they are protected by this law.
It is also observed that the criminality rates of the Philippines have increased,and most of the criminals are children who are minors. Some cases, the suspects arethe same because they will only go in an out from imprisonment in which it triggers thesafety and security of the community. This law has a good implication in a sense that it protects children against theprobable abuse(s) which could be inflicted in them but the bad out ways the goodnonetheless in the context of this law. However, this law is not well crafted, the purposeof law is to guide people not for it to be the cause of some to get away with their crimes,the law should be in consonance with culture for it to be effective this law is at any pointa dissonance to the Filipino setting, nonetheless because of the this laws poor andflimsy nature it does not treat problems in the long run it advances and worsens thesituation it does not directly treat the problem it just passes the problem. It alsothreatens the police in the exercise of their duties. In the case of Davao City, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is against this lawbecause it produces a large numbers of criminals, lowering the age of criminals, andhaving a problem on rehabilitation. However, the station commander of Talomo Police Station P/SUPT DionisioAbude conducted a program on saving the lives of minor criminals thru education andrehabilitation. There are six children who are adopted by Abude, and they are currentlyliving in Talomo Police Station with proper living room, food, education and trainings forgood discipline. According to him, months after doing this program the criminality ratesin their areas lessen because the criminals in different field of criminality are all the
same. Abude provided this program with his own financial support. This programcontinues until all the minor criminals will be arrested. The children who enjoyed the program given by the Talomo Police StationCommander are very happy and thankful because they were able to go to school, eatthree times a day, knows the rules and functions of police as they were trained as apolice and changing their lives into a better one. The Juvenile Justice Law encourages and challenges all the responsible peopleof the law and the ordinary citizens to look forward for the possible answers anddevelopment for those children who are one of the criminals in our society.
REFERENCES:www.officialgazette.com.phwww.dswd,gov.phwww.interaksyon.comAksyon Alerto DavaoP/SSUPT Ronal M. Dela Rosa, Chief - Davao City Police OfficeP/SUPT Dionisio Abude, Talomo Police Station CommanderDAISY T. BESINGMPA 1-CGB USEP GRADUATE SCHOOL