President Duterte wants child-trafficking classified as non-bailable offense

Manila, Philippines— As President Rodrigo Duterte wants to intensify offenses related to child trafficking, he is proposing to classify the said crime as non-bailable offenses, he said on Friday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement, the President will prioritize the immediate passage of proposed amendments to Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 that would increase penalties for those found guilty of child trafficking.

“The President wants to increase and tighten the penalties to offenses related to child trafficking. He wants these classes of crimes to be elevated to non-bailable offenses,”   CabSec Nograles said.
“Trafficking of children destroys the future of our young citizens. It’s our duty to protect them through stronger laws,” he said.
According to the present anti-human trafficking law, offenders may face imprisonment of 15 years plus a fine amounting to P500,000 up to P1 million for violators.

Under the current law, child trafficking prohibits the trafficking of children for slavery, forced labor, prostitution, production and trafficking of drugs and other illegal activities.
Several lawmakers have filed bills introducing amendments to the anti-child trafficking law or RA 10364. Some of the amendments are the reimposition of death penalty and other heavier penalties for child trafficking, abuse, exploitation and discrimination.
While the Senate, as filed by Senator Panfilo Lacson, reimposes the death penalty and includes qualified trafficking among the crimes that merited the imposition of death.

Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. also filed a measure proposing stricter penalties for child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination, amending Republic Act No. 7610.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, among similar bills on the subject matter include House Bill No. 137 by Rep. Geraldine Roman, House Bill No. 3020 by Rep. Wilter Wee Palma II, House Bill No. 1239 by Rep. Micaela Violago and House Bill No. 3632 by Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, Jr.

Nograles, also a former lawmaker, said imposing heavier penalties will not only be a deterrent factor but will also “get the message across that government is dead serious in addressing the human trafficking issue, particularly with respect to children and vulnerable groups.”

The President recently ordered the creation of the National Council Against Child Labor to strengthen government efforts for the protection of the children’s rights. 

Source: Inquirer

Post a Comment