VARIOUS quarters concede that there’s now that urgent need for the national government to curb rising crime in this country, which is still teeming with shabu and other prohibited drugs.
Admittedly, the alarming situation is complicated by the “oversupply” of children, boys and girls, in conflict with the law in this supposedly only Christian country in this part of the world.
In fact, there are now more crimes being committed by minors, many of them drug-crazed, not only in the metropolis but also in the countryside, where majority of the poor live.
Mostly from impoverished and broken families, these minors are lured into the illicit drug trade, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
In employing young children in their illegal but highly-profitable business, drug syndicate members know full well that under our laws, minors cannot be jailed even if they commit crimes.
Republic Act (RA) No. 9344, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, authored by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, sets the minimum age for criminal liability at 15 years old.
Critics said the highly-controversial piece of legislation has produced people who are of criminal minds.
People share the view of PNP and PDEA officials that their hands are really tied when it comes to going after juvenile offenders, particularly those involved in the illegal drug business.
Note that the leadership of the 160,000-strong PNP has been batting for a new legislation that will give government authorities enough teeth to go after drug dealers and pushers.
As law-abiding citizen, we are all for this.