8 February 2013
‘Have a heart for kids!’ This has been the birthday and advanced Valentine’s Day wish of child welfare group, Akap Bata Party-List for President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as he celebrates his 53rd birthday today. This wish of child advocates for PNoy has been aired as they joined the birthday protest of militant groups Bayan-NCR and Anakbayan-NCR in Mendiola today.
Akap Bata Party-List stresses their wish for President Aquino to hear them immediately reject the proposal of the Lower House to lower the age of criminal liability for children. According to them, as PNoy has the last say on this issue, he must draw the line and must have clear and strong position opposing these moves to criminalize our children.
According to the group, series of bicameral session of Senate and Congress amending Republic Act # 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 were being conducted. Child advocates already made statements rejecting provisions on reducing age of criminal liability under the approved House Bill 6052, while welcoming some of the favourable provisions strengthening JJWA under approved Senate Bill 3324.
‘For the longest time, the clamor of poor children in terms of their basic rights as human has never been addressed. Now is the best time for President Aquino to once and for all have a big heart for the best interest of every Filipino child,’ says Arlene Brosas, National Secretary-General and the First Nominee of Akap Bata Party-List.
She added, ‘Aside from this very particular issue of child protection, we challenge President Aquino to also address the very basic needs of Filipino children and their families for education, nutrition and shelter. The lack of these core necessities of a child in order to grow and live holistically pushes them to commit petty crimes and make them vulnerable in abuses from syndicate groups.’
Brosas insisted, ‘Criminalizing children will never be a solution to juvenile delinquency in the country rather this will only worsen the problem. In order to progress, the root causes of juvenile delinquency must be addressed.’
In all forms, Akap Bata Party-List vows to block all attempts of our legislators and the executive branch as well in lowering the age of criminal liability for children. They also said that they will never be tired of calling the attention of the Aquino government to address the socio-economic needs of children and their families in order to put an end to juvenile delinquency in the country.
Arlene Brosas, Akap Bata Party-List National Secretary-General (0915-9758683)