Bong Go

Bong Go reintroduces measure amending law on special protection of kids vs abuse, discrimination

August 25, 2022 People's Journal 143 views

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has refiled a measure to amend Republic Act No. 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act” in a bid to enhance the country’s protective measures for children.

Senate Bill No. 1188 seeks to amend Section 5 (b) of the Anti-Child Abuse Law regarding the penalty for persons engaging in lascivious conduct or sexual activity with minors under twelve years of age.

The proposed amendment will increase the penalty to reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua for any individual found violating the law under said provision.

Under the present law, lascivious acts against a minor below twelve years are penalized with reclusion temporal in its medium period whilst the same act committed against a child above twelve years but below eighteen years of age is penalized with reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua.

In other words, the penalty is lower despite the fact that the victim is younger. Go also cited a 2019 Supreme Court case, People v. Tulagan, which called for “corrective legislation” to address the incongruent penalties.

“Mariin po nating tinututulan ang pang-aabuso sa ating mga kabataan. Kaya naman po isinusulong ko ang panukalang ito sa Senado upang masiguro na protektado ang ating mga kabataan laban sa mga ganitong pang-aabuso,” Go said in his previous statements.

“Ang mga kabataan po ang pag-asa ng ating bayan. Gawin po natin ang lahat upang proteksyunan sila laban sa mga taong may masamang intensyon sa kanila,” he continued.

Earlier, Go also lauded the enactment of RA 11648, which raises the age for determining statutory rape from “below 12 years old” to “below 16 years old”, as an important step in the fight against sexual violence and exploitation.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte signed the measure into law on March 4, 2022.

The amendment to the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 is in keeping with the recommendation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to determine a more appropriate age for sexual consent.