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Mistakes and crimes

Child psychology experts are one in saying that kids, those that are 15 and below, for
lack of discernment do not commit crimes only mistakes.

Not being able to discern the ramifications of the mistake they have done they could
not be held responsible for their mistakes the way we do with criminals.

Making them answerable for their mistakes the end goal must be restorative and
curative rather than punitive.

Sadly, members of the House of Representatives have just passed a bill that lowered
the age of criminal liability to 12, three years lower than the current 15. The bill will mostly
likely become a law with a sizable number of senators expressing agreement to the measure
that House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said was what the President wants.

What makes this move mind boggling is the fact that experts opposed the lowering of
the age of criminal liability on the ground of discernment where they said kids of that age
still lack it, which is the condition sine-quanon before one can be held criminally liable for
his act.

If we go by the expert opinion, only adults such as the senators and congressmen
who could be held criminally liable for acts that run counter with existing laws. Could this be
the reason why congressmen are throwing out of the window anything to do with
transparency by putting up layers of requirements before any citizen could get hold of a copy
of their SALN?

By the way, since elections are forthcoming, better if the citizenry marks the names
of congressmen who will support this shenanigan of shielding themselves from the people’s
scrutiny of their finances as mandated by existing laws on account of Constitutional
provisions requiring such transparency in government at all times.

A good number of our national legislators, past and present, have been haled to court
for corruption despite existing legal provisions mandating transparency. Will their corrupt
practices be made to surface in public if they shield themselves from any scrutiny such as
their current move of keeping their SALN’s from such?

In the Lower House right now is a resolution requiring that before any of the
member’s SALN could be released to any requesting party, the request must first be
approved during plenary session and if such is approved the fee of P300 must first be paid so
it can be released.

What makes this indisputably stupendous is the fact that making the plenary approve
such request is just like expecting to win the lottery’s jackpot.

By merely having the request calendared for discussion then approval is a tall order
already. Under this proposed rule, I fear no one would be able to secure the SALN of any
congressman thus flushing any modicum of transparency in governance down the drain.

That our honorable legislators was able to design this hoax only proves the child
psychology experts’ opinion that indeed kids merely commit mistakes and only adults can
commit crimes. If this can’t be considered a crime against constitutional and legal precepts
that has to do with transparency in government, pray tell what is.

Please consider those who signed and approved this proposed measure as
disqualified from seeking any reelection for being possessed with a dreadful mind that
makes legal and constitutional precepts about transparency in governance a joke by
mocking it with impunity.

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