OP ED EDITORIALS & CARTOONS: … Juvenile justice

EDITORIAL – Juvenile justice

The Senate has yet to pass its version of the bill, so the government isn’t about to lower anytime soon the age of criminal responsibility to nine years, as approved by the House of Representatives.

Even several senators objecting to the House measure, however, have expressed openness to lowering the age threshold from the current 15 to 12 or 11. So the threshold is likely to be amended.

A look at several countries could put this in perspective. The threshold age is 10 in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa. It’s 7 in India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand for certain cases. In Greece and Indonesia, it’s eight. In the UK, there’s a range of 8 to 10. The threshold is 12 in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Turkey. It’s 13 in France; 14 in Austria, Germany, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Vietnam. In the United States, 33 states have set no minimum age for criminal responsibility; for federal crimes, it’s 11.


President Duterte has often lambasted the principal proponent of the Juvenile Justice Act for the current age threshold, which he said has worsened criminality and has been exploited by crime gangs that use children for their activities. Congressmen have stressed that the measure they have approved will not include imprisonment for juvenile offenders. It will also hold parents accountable to a certain degree for their children’s activities.

Law enforcers support the measure; human rights groups are up in arms. They will likely have to settle for a compromise. In case the measure is approved, the government must prepare to make it work by providing sufficient facilities for detaining and rehabilitating juvenile offenders. The country has lacked such facilities for a long time.

If the age of criminal responsibility is going to be lowered, the state must not lose sight of the fact that youths, while being held accountable for their acts, can still be rehabilitated and turned into responsible citizens. People deserve a second chance. This is true especially of juvenile offenders.

The Philippine Star




 MANILA STANDARD – Implausible ideal


The Manila Times – …. GREEDY POLITICIANS

 The Philippine Daily Inquirer –  9 is not fine

Pilipino STAR Ngayon – Pawiin ang takot sa bakuna


SINGAPORE’S The Straits Times

The Straits Times says

Brexit deadline extension can buy time

Britain and Brexit just lurched closer to the cliff edge with no clear solution in sight. With a little more than 60 days to the March 29 deadline to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May’s Plan B that was unveiled on Monday looked essentially no different from Plan A, which was overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament last week. There was a new fee waiver for EU citizens seeking residency rights – a welcome but cosmetic change. But Mrs May kept to her original red lines of rejecting a second referendum and a Customs union with the EU. She also did not rule out the possibility of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. What she did offer was more consultation with others and yet another go at persuading the EU to make changes to the so-called “Irish backstop”. The plan, aimed at avoiding a hard border with Ireland, is opposed by hardline Brexiteers and her Northern Irish allies who fear it would lock Britain to European trade rules indefinitely. The trouble is Mrs May has tried this tack many times before and failed.

The unsurprising message from the EU, the business community and growing ranks of British MPs is that fresh thinking is needed if Britain is to avoid the dire consequences of a no-deal exit. MPs are right to lament that Mrs May seemed not to have learnt from her crushing defeat in Parliament last week and that Britain looks caught in a loop, reliving Groundhog Day on Brexit options as the clock ticks down. But then, Mrs May is not entirely to blame. If Brexit Britain is like a road movie, what is happening is that the driver of the car is headed for the cliff but refusing to change course while the passengers are in mutiny but cannot agree on a new direction or a new driver.



Defence is no joking matter

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has been rightly pilloried in both local and foreign media lately. He has shown himself to be lacking in a too-long series of events. These have run from his luxury watches to last weekend’s tasteless feast of mangoes and sticky rice. Still, there was something especially disconcerting and disappointing in his offensive and supremely unfunny “joke” about last week’s terrorist attack on the Thai-managed DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi. Not only did his inappropriate comments get worldwide attention, especially on the front pages of the Nairobi media.
READ MORE: https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1615978/defence-is-no-joking-matter

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