UNKNOWN to many, parents or guardians are liable for contempt by the court and face imprisonment if they fail to send their drug-dependent children to rehabilitation centers.
Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 clearly defines the liability of a parent or guardian who refuses to cooperate with the government when it comes to taking care of his/her drug-using children.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) issued the clarification amid the mushrooming number of minors being arrested for illegal drugs and other criminal offenses.
Likewise, the PNP leadership, led by Director-General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa, underscored anew the importance of crafting tougher anti-juvenile delinquency and anti-drugs laws.
Some quarters said that if there are more crimes being committed by minors these days, blame it on the implementation of RA No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
Setting the minimum age for criminal liability at 15 years old, RA No. 9344, authored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, is too lenient to minors, who know they cannot be jailed.
In May 2006, the highly-controversial measure was signed into law by former President Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now a member of the House of Representatives.
No less than President Duterte, the first Mindanaoan to hold the top political post of the land, has slammed the Pangilinan law, pointing out that it has produced “people with criminal minds.”
“We have produced people who are of criminal minds and that’s why it’s hard to stop the drug problem,” according to the President, who is waging an all-out war against the drug menace.
Let’s punish parents or guardians who refuse to cooperate with concerned government agencies in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug-dependent minors.