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Miss Universe 2018 opposes the lowering of age criminal responsibility; Malacañang thinks the beauty queen is ‘misinformed’

  • “I would rather that the efforts be refocused to why those children may be committing those crimes.”
  • Catriona Gray should be educated about the bill, but still agrees with her that the problem of the delinquent children should be addressed first
  • Fighting for the rights of children appears to be one of her advocacies

According to Malacañang, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has been misinformed about the bill which seeks to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 12.

Last February 20 at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray held a press conference.

During her interview with GMA News on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, she pointed out that the government should focus first on the reasons why these children continue doing crimes; believing that the ages from 9 to 12 years old, children are not yet developed cognitively.

“I would rather that the efforts be refocused on why these children may be committing those crimes. Because working with kids, you know that when they’re that young–when they’re 11, 12, or nine years old–they’re not developed in that way, cognitively, to make decisions knowing full well the consequences,” Gray said in an interview with GMA News.

After Catriona spoke expressing her disagreement with the said bill, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also made a statement.

A day after the Filipina beauty queen’s press conference, Panelo said Gray should be educated about the bill but still agrees with her that the problem of the delinquent children should be addressed as well.

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RAISE YOUR FLAG 🇵🇭 Philippines, you brought me to tears yesterday. The last time I paraded around @thearanetacenter was as Binibini20 for @bbpilipinasofficial national pagaent, now to be celebrating with you all as @missuniverse …. 😭 To see how far our journey has taken us, I am extremely humbled and grateful for each and everyone one of you who have given true meaning to feeling "the love and support of the Filipino people!!" 💛🇵🇭 See you all later sa #RaiseYourFlag event sa Araneta Coliseum, admission is free! 🎉🎉🎉 In Alon 🌊 by @maktumang, earrings by @tesserajewelry styled by @justine.aliman19 glam @memayfrancisco @hairbybrentsales nails @mimsqiu ✨ #MissUniverse #CatrionaHomecoming

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“She should be educated. She may have been misinformed of the facts given that the opposition to the lowering comes from yung mga dating kritiko ng administrasyon (old critics of the administration), “Yung sinasabi niya na focus on the problems, kasama yun eh (She’s saying that we should focus on the problems. That’s part of it). When you lower the criminal liability, kasama yun (that’s already part of it),” he said.

Panelo also clarified that what is stated in the law is that children in conflict will not be put in jail together with the adult criminals, but rather rehabilitated before sending them off to society.

“Sa batas nakalagay doon yung rehabilitation. Ang focus nga rehabilitation, eh (Rehabilitation is what is stated in the law. So the focus is rehabilitation). So you are solving precisely the problem why these people are engaged in crimes,” Panelo said.

He really emphasized to Catriona that the government is already focusing on the problem because the children will not be jailed  but instead will be rehabilitated to know why they have committed crimes and in time they will be put back in society.

“Miss Universe hindi naman ikukulong. Ire-rehabilitate nga natin. Kaya tama ka doon (Miss Universe, they will not be jailed. We will rehabilitate them. So you are right when you said that), let’s focus on the problem. We are precisely focusing on the problem. Because the problem is they’re engaged in crimes, So what will we do? We will have to rehabilitate them. Learn why they have committed these crimes, and then put them back to society,” he continued.

Despite being misinformed, accordingly to the Palace, they much-admired Catriona for speaking out her opinion on the matter which shows the evidence that she is truly concerned with the children.

“But I’m glad she mentioned it. It only means that she’s also concerned, which every Filipino citizen should have been – with a kind of concern,” Panelo said.

It has been the passion of Miss Universe Catriona Gray to work with children, even before winning the Miss Universe pageant – as fighting for the rights of the children appears to be one of her advocacies.

Written by Rhelyn Harder

An open-minded person who seeks to inspire readers through writing. She believes that having the freedom and courage to express oneself is an opportunity to influence others.

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