In a video owned by CNN Philippines, Mar Roxas remarked that if you are not old enough to drive, drink alcohol, vote and join the AFP, then you cannot be criminal?
Roxas asked why punish or sends a 9 or 12 years old child to jail, when in the Philippines you need to be 18 years old to reach the age of maturity?
In other words, Roxas believes that a child below 18 years old is incapable of committing a crime.
Video courtesy of CNN Philippines.
Mar Roxas bakit ang bobo mo? Kailan pa naging basehan ang pag inom at pag boto sa pag gawa ng krimen? Sa Singapore ang Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) nila ay 18 samantalang ang Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility(MACR) ay 7.
Posted by VOVph on Sunday, January 27, 2019
However, pro-Duterte lawyer Trixie Cruz Angeles has taken to Facebook explaining the public Mar Roxas’ contention on lowering the age of criminal liability and why he is wrong.
Explaining Mar Roxas’ contention and why he is WRONG.
Roxas inadequately claims that the child who is not old enough to drink, drive, vote or get married absurdly can become a criminal goes into the argument of consent and mens rea.
Consent under our law requires capacity. So a person who is a minor (except under certain circumstances such as acting with discernment) cannot give consent to a contract or marriage or agree to a person or persons to make laws or execute them. .
Since discernment is an act of maturity, some minors do have it, despite not being of age. Age here is a presumption that the person is capacitated to give consent.
Mens rea is the Latin term for criminal intent. A person has mens rea when the criminal act is deliberate as opposed to one of neglect. For example, a car wreck because the person fell asleep is an act of neglect and has no mens rea.
Is a child capable of mens rea? The law usually says no, unless the prosecution can show that he or she acted with discernment.
Now, why is Mar Roxas wrong?
Because the Housebill does not penalize the child as a criminal. Instead, it provides intervention, therapy and reform, and therefore presumes there is no mens rea. In short, the kid isn’t going to jail, the kid isn’t really a criminal. But he or she IS going to be taken out of society where he or she can do a lot of harm if left without intervention.
The whole opposition to the bill lies on their (mistaken) insistence that the child is punished criminally. He or she isn’t. So Mar really doesn’t understand what he is saying.