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An Open Letter to Lawyer who criticize Curfew for Minors by Bruce Rivera

The popular legal counsel on social media site Facebook has  disapproval comments over the issues on 'Curfew on Minors.' Atty. Bruce Rivera has strongly disagreed to those lawyers who have argued that it is illegal for the state to impose a curfew on minors.

An Open Letter to Lawyer who criticize Curfew for Minors by Bruce Rivera

Atty. Bruce Rivera illustrated the situation and said, "Several lawyers have argued that it is illegal for the state to impose a curfew on minors because the Juvenile Justice Law or RA 9344 prohibits minors to be punished for something that a person of legal age is not punished for."

"One lawyer even used UP students who are minors who are inside the campus in the wee hours at night. The act of rounding up minors and arrested accordingly is illegal and it is only the duty of the government to collect them and take them home," Attorney added.

Here's the full text of his letter for those lawyers and to the people who are condemning the Curfew for minors.

OPEN LETTER by Atty Bruce Rivera

ARE CURFEW ON MINORS ILLEGAL?

 Several lawyers have argued that it is illegal for the state to impose a curfew on minors because the Juvenile Justice Law or RA 9344 prohibits minors to be punished for something that a person of legal age is not punished for. One lawyer even used UP students who are minors who are inside the campus in the wee hours at night. The act of rounding up minors and arrested accordingly is illegal and it is only the duty of the government to collect them and take them home.

Now, here is where I totally disagree with this opinion.

First of all, it is a total abomination why RA 9344 is still even a law, to begin with. It should be repealed and forgotten. Why? Because this law is the reason why 15-year-old boys and girls are used by a criminal syndicate to commit crimes because they have no criminal liability. Under the old system, a minor within certain age (above 7 years old, I guess) will be liable based on discernment. If that minor thinks the act he did is morally wrong, he will be punished. Now, even if a 15-year-old commits rape, and he knows it is wrong, he will only be taken to the DSWD facility (which we do not have a lot, to begin with) to be disciplined and released when he comes of age. This law has been abused and it needs to be stricken off our books. So using that law as a basis is like grappling at straws owing to the fact that a curfew violation is not akin to a criminal act in its strictest sense and thus the rule earlier stated will not apply.

Second, the "parens patriae" principle allows the state to regulate the movement of minors because it is the duty of the state to look after its children as a nominal parent. A minor does not have the full juridical capacity and the capacity to act to be outside the control of the parents or the state in the absence of the former. So, if the parents are remiss in their duties to properly guide their children, the State can act on its behalf.

Third, a minor who violates curfew is not technically arrested but merely collected to be placed in a holding area. This will allow the authorities to talk to the parents who need to be reminded of their duties as parents when they collect their children. Such should not be a questionable act because the State has every right to protect its children and at the same time inculcate responsible parenthood.

Fourth, the UP situation is not a good example because technically when students are inside the UP campus, they are minors who are under the special parental authority of UP as an educational institution. Hence, they are still under the care of the UP.

Lastly, and this is a very important principle. When interpreting seemingly contradictory laws pertaining to the rights of a minor, the rule here is that the State should take into consideration the best interest of the child. And clearly, it is for a child's best interest to be home at night where he or she is supposed to be. And the state has the right to collect (not arrest) a minor who deviates from that mandate.

After all, it is our constitutional duty to raise our children to be productive members of society who are law-abiders and not law-beakers.

Bruce Villafuerte Rivera

(Read Here: An Open Letter to Journalist: 'You Earn The Title of Journalist' by Atty. Rivera)

(Read Here: An Open Letter to Duterte's Haters: 'Counter-Productive Skepticism' by Atty. Bruce Rivera)

(Read Here: Atty. Bruce Open Letter: 'HATRED and BIGOTRY is a CHOICE')

(Read Here: He is the 'Worst President in Philippines History' by Bruce Rivera)

(Read Here: Open Letter: 'Saboteurs are not Journalists' by Bruce Rivera)

Do you believe with Atty. Bruce Rivera's thoughts? Please took the comment box below and share your thoughts.

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