Date: February 28, 2012 1:00pm
Location: Rizal-Gatuslao Streets, Bacolod City, Philippies
I was having my lunch in the kitchen portion of our office when I heard a commotion outside that sounded like "snatcher!" At first I thought that those just came from pranksters since the roadway besides the office is often times seen with young street children roaming around aside from the regular pedestrians.
I took a glimpse of what is happening. I saw people looking in one direction and heard voices talking about a snatcher fleeing away. I went back to the table and continued taking my lunch. Then I heard from our student assistant that the snatcher was already caught and subdued by the local barangay police. I hurriedly went out to the backdoor to take a look of the snatcher. He looked like a member of a gang, young but not intimidated by the barangay police who are holding his hands side by side. The wallet of the woman being snatched was recovered and they brought the young snatcher to the near police station, some meters away from us.
Crimes will happen when an opportunity presents itself. In most cases, people who are aware of their surroundings and take some extra precautions can be able to avoid being the target just by being on guard.
The Philippines introduced a new Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act 2006 signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
...the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act 2006 calls for restorative justice to be incorporated into all “laws, policies and programmes applicable to children in conflict with the law.” It defines restorative justice as
“… a principle which requires a process of resolving conflicts with the maximum involvement of the victim, the offender and the community. It seeks to obtain reparation for the victim; reconciliation of the offender, the offended and the community; and reassurance to the offender that he/she can be reintegrated into society. It also enhances public safety by activating the offender, the victim and the community in prevention strategies.”
Restorative justice is featured in Chapter 2, which outlines diversion procedures. According to paragraph (a), individuals responsible for responding to crimes by young offenders “shall conduct mediation, family conferencing and conciliation and, where appropriate, adopt indigenous modes of conflict resolution in accordance with the best interest of the child with a view of accomplishing the objectives of restorative justice and the formulation of a diversion program.” The section provides for creation of a diversion contract during those processes and the steps to take if the contract is not completed. Diversion can be used at all stages of the criminal justice system.
(Source: New Juvenile Justice in the Philippines)
The new legislation protects children under the age of 15 from being charged when committing crimes. For 15- to 18-year-old juveniles, diversion away from court is the preferred method for responding to crimes that carry a possible sentence of six years or less.
How do you perceive the new juvenile justice law? What are its pros and cons? Does it benefit the Filipino people in general? Does it lessen the crimes committed by young people?
I would appreciate it very much if you can share your thoughts and ideas in the comment box below.
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