Palace slams Callamard tweet on lowering criminal liability

MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday slammed UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard for a tweet she made describing the House of Representatives (HOR) bill seeking to lower the criminal liability to nine years old as shameful, dangerous and potentially deadly proposal.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo criticized Callamard for meddling with the country's affairs saying that she should address her concern to lawmakers.

She should address that to lawmakers not to us. What is shameful is nakikialam siya (she's interfering), what is shameful when she intrudes into the sovereignty of this country. She has no business interfering with the affairs of Congress in the first place or with the executive, Panelo said in a chance interview after the regular Palace briefing.

Callamard made her remark against HOR's proposal as she retweeted the UNICEF for reminding that brain function reaches maturity only at around 16 years old.

Panelo said Callamard is not being objective because she has not read the measure, and it seemed like she was only hearing out the opinion of those who opposed the proposal.

Yan nga problema (That's the problem) if you listen to the opposition, to the critics, detractors, they cannot say anything good o e di biased ka na agad (then you're immediately biased), Panelo said.

I'm not defending Congress. What I'm saying is before you open your mouth, you better know your facts, he added.

Panelo insisted that the measure was meant to protect children from being used by adult criminals to commit crimes on their behalf.

Ang focus e dun sa mga kontra pero actually napaliwanag ko na (They are focused on those who oppose it, but I have already explained that) the bill is more for the protection of the children, Panelo said.

On Monday, the House justice panel approved a bill lowering the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.

Panelo, meanwhile, said that the President has not yet made comment on what age he would want the bill on criminal liability lowered to.

He (the President) has not made any statement on the age requirement. All he has been saying since the campaign is he wants that lowered and we will leave that to the lawmakers, Panelo said.

Palagay ko si Presidente basta huwag yung kinse, basta si Presidente ayaw niya yung 15 (I think the President just wants to lower the age of criminal liability to lower than 15, the President doesn't want 15), he added.

Earlier, Duterte called the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344), which exempts children 15 years old and below from criminal liability, as a stupid law for creating a new generation of criminals. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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