‘There’s still hope for child offenders’
THERE is still hope for children in conflict with the law to reform their ways, a Cebu City councilor said yesterday.
In a privilege speech, Councilor Gerardo Carillo asked the City Council to review its program for youth offenders and for the integrated bar to offer its legal services to the 14-year-old girl who was arrested in Labangon in a buy-bust operation involving almost 301 grams of shabu.
Carillo also asked the city police to go after the mastermind who hired the girl.
“While I admire the police force in the apprehension, the real perpetrator or the brains of this act should likewise be pursued and prosecuted,” he said. as he commended Supt. Romeo Santander and his men in the City Intelligence Branch for the operation.
At the Capitol, the city prosecutor’s office dismissed the criminal charges filed by the police against the 14-year-old girl as an “erroneous” filing because her age makes her exempt from criminal liability.
Carillo said minors like these should undergo rehabilitation instead of sending them to jail
“Sending our minors to jail is not the answer. Prison sentences are finite, but their effects aren’t.
Our communities will eventually have to face broken children when they are released back into society as broken adults. Rehabilitation is not a goal of the prison cell,” said Carillo.
He said the City’s Woman and Family Affairs Commission should also fully implement the city’s comprehensive program for solo parents to assistparents like the girl’s mother get employment to support her children.
He asked Congress to put more teeth in Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law and impose stiffer penalties on people using minors in the commission of crimes.
Carillo said it is unfortunate that some minors end up being used by criminal elements, but that there is still hope for them.
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