DESCRIPTION

2006, Enactment of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act:

Republic Act No. 9344 otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 is a landmark child protection law that seeks to remedy the significant problems of the plight of CICL in the Philippines.

It established a comprehensive and child-sensitive justice system where children can be held accountable using procedures that avoid their incarceration and emphasized on prevention and rehabilitation so that there is lesser risk of re-offending.

In 2013, R.A. 9344 was amended by R.A. 10630 in 2013, to strengthen the Juvenile Justice and Welfare System and to ensure that the law is effectively and fully implemented.

UNDER THIS LAW 

the victim of the offense committed by a child and the victim’s family shall be provided the appropriate assistance and psychological intervention

by the Local Social Welfare and Development Office, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and other concerned agencies.

 

Rights of the Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL)  under R.A. 9344:

Section 5:

  1. (d)  the right to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of a person of his/her age.
    • child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adult offenders at all times
    • conveyed separately to or from court
    • await hearing of his/her own case in a separate holding area
    • maintain contact with his/her family through correspondence and

      visits, save in exceptional circumstances;

  2. (e)  to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance;
  3. (f)  to bail and recognizance, in appropriate cases;
  4. (g)  to testify as a witness in hid/her own behalf under the rule on examination of a child witness;
  5. (h)  to have his/her privacy respected fully at all stages of the proceedings;
  6. (i)  to diversion if he/she is qualified and voluntarily avails of the same;
  7. (j)  to be imposed a judgment in proportion to the gravity of the offense where his/her best interest, the rights of the victim and the needs of society are all taken into consideration;
  8. (k)  to have restrictions on his/her personal liberty limited to the minimum, and impose fine instead of imprisonment if imposable penalty is fine or imprisonment;
  9. (l)  in general, the right to automatic suspension of sentence;
  10. (m)  to probation as an alternative to imprisonment, if qualified under the Probation Law.

Restorative Justice is the process of resolving conflicts with the maximum involvement of the victim, the offender, their families and the community.

It seeks to achieve:

1.) reparation for the victim

2.) reconciliation of the offender the offended, and the community

3.) reassurance to the offender that he or she can be reintegrated into society

4.) enhancement of public safety by activating the offender, the victim and the community in prevention strategies and programs

 

SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES OF HANDLING CICL

1.

Child is 15 years old and below (a child is 15 years old on the day of the anniversary of his/her birthday)

Exempt from criminal responsibility

In consultation with the LSWDO, immediately release the child to custody of parents or guardian, or in the absence thereof, the child’s nearest relative, unless the best interest of the child requires his/her referral to BPA

The child shall undergo a community- based intervention program supervised by the LSWDO

However, if the LSWDO finds the child to be abandoned, neglected or abused by parents and the best interest of the child requires his/her institutionalization, he/ she shall be committed to a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’

2.

Child above 12 to 15 years old who committed serious crime
(Section 20A) (i.e. parricide, murder, infanticide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention where the victim is killed or raped, robbery, with homicide or rape, destructive arson, rape, or carnapping where the driver or occupant is killed
or raped or offenses under Republic Act No. 9165 punishable by
more than 12 years of imprisonment)

Exempt from criminal responsibility

Child shall be deemed neglected under PD 603, as amended, and shall be mandatorily placed in a special facility within the youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ called the Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center (IJISC)

Minimum duration of placement is 1 year

3.

Child above 12 to 15 years old but
reported for repetition

of offenses (Section 20-B)

Exempt from criminal responsibility

If had previously undergone an intensive community-based intervention program supervised by the LSWDO and committed an offense a second time or oftener, child will be placed in a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’ if his/her best interest requires

4.

Child above 15 but below 18 years old WITHOUT discernment

Exempt from criminal responsibility

In consultation with the LSWDO, immediately release the child to custody of parents or guardian, or in the absence thereof, the child’s nearest relative, unless the best interest of the child requires his/her referral to BPA

The child shall undergo a community-based intervention program supervised by the LSWDO

However, if the LSWDO finds the child to be abandoned, neglected or abused by parents and the best interest of the child requires his/her institutionalization, he/she shall be committed to a youth care facility or ‘Bahay Pag-asa’

5.

Child above 15 but below 18 years old with discernment

Diversion Process (if appropriate)

Diversion Program

If offense has imposable penalty of 6 years and below imprisonment

Diversion at the following levels: Katarungang Pambarangay Law enforcement Prosecutor

LSWDO if victimless crime

If offense has imposable penalty of 12 years or below imprisonment, diversion at the court level upon discretion of judge

If imposable penalty is above 12 years imprisonment – prosecution in court\