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Petty Theft Cases in Bohol Committed by Minors
« on: March 12, 2012, 10:15:44 AM »
by Rey Anthony Chiu
PIA

The Bohol Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) pushed for the creation of a technical working group that would review the Juvenile Justice Law as the province was alarmed with the 10.5 percent increase in petty theft cases committed by minors from 246 in January to 272 in February this year.
 
At the PPOC meeting in San Miguel in time for the 10th Heat-Caravan on March 8, the police provincial director PSSupt. Constantino Barot moved for the council to create a TWG to study the feasibility of putting up a Provincial Crisis Center for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL).
 
Most members of the council believe that the Juvenile Justice Act of 2006 suffers infirmities. The law was implemented despite the lack of provision of key facilities such as a crises or rehab center that guides the CICL back to the mainstream.
 
Bohol Board member Godofreda Tirol, in her support to the proposal informed the body that CICLs in Bohol are put in Cabawan and are “placed behind bars.”

She said, this defeats the purpose of the law that mandates the putting up of a rehabilitation center for youthful offenders.
 
In several areas, CICLs get to be detained in cells with hardened criminals, further exposing them to unhealthy behavior which may ultimately ruin their future, Tirol added.
 
The absence of a government facility that caters to the rehabilitation of youthful offenders, CICLs are sent to orphanages or detention centers.
 
Noting the importance of the move, the PPOC agreed to create the TWG to be composed of multi-agencies and sectors including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) in Bohol, the Department of Justice, SP Committee on Women and Children, Philippine National Police and other concerned individuals and offices.
 
The council also tasked the TWG to look into the Juvenile Justice Law and possibly weigh its merits against the background of the government’s inability to put up the necessary support facilities for the successful implementation of a youth offender rehabilitation program.
 
The TWG was also expected to report to the council its recommendations with the aim of coming up with the univocal statement for or against the juvenile justice law, a council member stated.

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