This hullahballu of reducing the criminal age of children to 12 years has really two sides, the good and the bad. The third maybe is the ugly.
First, the good. Afterall, potential availers of this law if passed are children of neglectful if not absentee parents. Most if not all of the potential victims never tasted the beauty of good parenthood, much more a beautiful happy childhood. They are mostly products of broken homes. So the best thing that can happen to them is to be properly re-habilitated by government in a condusive home and to be developed into good productive citizens.
But only in a condusive environment. Bahay Pagasa should be the ideal home, not a make-shift home otherwise its purpose will be defeated.
If the place (Bahay Pag-asa) is not a condusive home, —then forget it. The child to be rehabilitated will become worse and will fail. He will even escape this lousy Bahay Pag-asa rehabilitation center.
THE PRESENT STATE
This is how the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council executive director Tricia Oco harrowingly described most if not all Bahay Pagasa in the country which is required of every province and highly urbanized cities. (only 58 built out of the needed 114 units) :
“Wala silang programs. Wala silang beds, wala silang cabinets. No facilities. Ang mga bata doon, they are just ordered to keep quiet the whole day and do nothing. Others resort to self harm because they are so bored.”
The national budget has no allocation for their maintenance. It means the present ones can only deteriorate to the worse. Once the kids are there, they will become worse , from criminals, to animals. Small wonder the task is transferred from the local governments to the DSWD. And look at the sorry state of DSWD.
I agree with rehabilitating children who commit serious crimes like rape , murder, homicide, illegal drugs, robbery, if not kidnapping. But what are the kid’s roles in committing these crimes? Moreover, our police have yet to disclose statistics as to what crimes have actually been committed by the youth in Dumaguete. And also those in other places.
Fact is, all the kids usually do is opening the doors inside-out for criminals to enter , who perpetuate the crime upon entering the site, as opened from the inside by the “kid-criminals” And kids do it for fun, and money for food and worse, for drugs.
So if a kid enters a house thru a small hole, and opens the door for the robber to enter, thereupon is paid P800 and goes home. Then the robber waits for the owner, robs him upon arrival and stashes P2million from him and kills him. What crime did the young boy of 12 commit? Lawyers/ professors: pls email an educative answer to this column…..to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Dumaguete, what do we have for bahay pag-asa? We have one in Bantayan, the old b
Balay Dalangpan of the city government; the talay rehab for bu-angs; two orphanages for street children at casa Miani in Balugo for boys and Citadini for girls. Will this qualify for Bahay Pag-asa? We doubt. So where will that boy of 12 stay once arrested? What if the killer escapes and is at large? Will the boy be convicted alone? Law professors: judge Boy Gonz, pls enlighted us.
ON PORK INSERTIONS
Senators Sotto and Lacson are fed up with these billions of budget insertions and want them out of the budget so the government economy can move on. The others want otherwise.
Our two-cents solution: maintain the insertions but remove the specifics to which legislator’s areas or projects these are intended. This way, there is money to build build build, and no solon gets to take advantage.
They are fit for the year of the pig. Hoy! mga baboy!
OR, PAYBACK YOUR PORK.
Look at Sen Revilla: the Graft Court has ordered him to payback the government P125Million in money allegedly illegally disbursed by the solon, or simply , stolen. The good solon, (is he running in May?) wont pay but fights back. Baya oi! Kapal naman! Yes, his criminal deed was dismissed, but not his civil liability.
KUNG HEI FAT CHOI!
To our dear Tsinoy friends: Happy Chinese New Year to you all!
You are indeed our inspiration of hard work, diligence, and perseverance. May your tribe increase!