MANILA, October 20, 2018 — Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go said in a recent interview that, should he be elected to the senate, one of his top priorities would be to look into the possibility of amending the Pangilinan Law, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
Critics have blamed the legislation for the rise in youthful offenders in the country. The law exempts those 15 years old and below from any criminal liability, even for heinous crimes such as rape and murder.
“Itong Juvenile Justice Law ay sisilipin natin, kasi 15 years old and below ay hindi liable. So ginagamit ng mga drug syndicate itong mga kabataan natin at kawawa ang mga inosente na walang kamalay-malay kaya hindi nakukulong” Go said during a radio interview.
President Rodrigo Duterte is a very vocal critic of this law, which was authored by Liberal Party president, Sen. Francis Pangilinan. Duterte has characterized both the law and its proponent as “idiotic” in numerous public pronouncements.
Go, who has been at the side of Duterte for more than 20 years, has vowed to support the President’s legislative agenda and continue his programs beyond 2022. He is expected to be among the key legislators that Duterte will rely on in the senate.