FALSE

Discouraging Filipinos to vote for opposition senator and vice presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, President Rodrigo Duterte again made false claims about the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act that the former had authored.

Statement

In two separate taped addresses within seven days, Duterte criticized the law (Republic Act 9344) for supposedly allowing teen offenders to skirt imprisonment despite committing crimes.

On Jan. 10, the president said:

“[I]tong batas ni Pangilinan … protects the criminal as (sic) against the innocent victims. Alam mo, all of those who were killed — robbed and killed, raped and killed, raped … lahat ‘yun na committed by the minors. They were aplenty … Ang problema dito sa batas ni Pangilinan… itong mga taong ito, they should be delivered to the DS[W]D (Department of Social Welfare and Development). For what? You know, for counseling and things like that. Walang detention ang DS[WD]. So pagkatapos ng deliver doon sa DSWD, wala na, labas na after the, maybe the intervention of — magle-lecture ng ano ang responsibility ng isang citizen of this country … pero after that, wala.”

(The law [authored by] Pangilinan … protects the criminal against the innocent victims. You know, all of those who were killed — robbed and killed, raped and killed, raped … all of those were committed by minors. They were aplenty… The problem with the law of Pangilinan … these people, they should be delivered to the DSWD. For what? You know, for counseling and things like that. DSWD has no detention. So, after delivering them to DSWD, that’s it; they are released after … maybe the intervention of …they will be given a lecture about the responsibility of a citizen of this country … but after that, no more.)

Source: RTVMalacanang YouTube, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk to the People, Jan. 10, 2022, watch from 1:11:06 to 1:11:55 and 1:13:29 to 1:14:15 (archived transcript)

Earlier on Jan. 4, Duterte said:

“Sa Dewey Boulevard, nakikita ninyo nag-i-snatch, takbo dito, takbo doon, nakukuha sa camera. And do you know why they are so bold to do that[?], daring … because they’ve been previously… sa experience nila, under the Pangilinan Law, hindi ka makulong. Eh kung ‘yung 15 years old … papasok ka ng bahay, sasaksakin ka, patayin ka, tapos kinuha ‘yung pera. Pagdating doon sa istasyon, sabihin ng pulis report lang, recorded, ‘go where you want.’ That increased the number of crimes ten-fold.”

(On Dewey Boulevard, you see them snatching, running here and there, caught on camera. And do you know why they are so bold to do that[?], daring … because they’ve been previously …in their experience, under the Pangilinan Law, [they] cannot be jailed. If those 15-year-olds… when you enter your house, they will stab you, kill you and get your money. Then, in the police station, the police will only [tell the young offender, ‘it’s been] recorded, go where you want.’ That increased the number of crimes ten-fold.)

Source: RTVMalacanang YouTube, Part 1: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk to the People, Jan. 4, 2022, watch from 1:16:36 to 1:17:30 (archived transcript)

Under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, enacted in 2006 and amended in 2013, youth offenders aged 15 to 18 who were proven to have committed crimes with “discernment” may be held criminally liable and “subjected to appropriate proceedings.”

Read the full story on VERA Files Fact Check.

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