The House Committee on Justice today approved the substitute bill seeking to lower the age of criminality from 15 to nine years old, which would repeal Republic Act 9344, or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.

Accordingly, under the bill, a child nine years old and below at the time of the criminal act would be exempted from criminal liability, while those above nine years old but under 18 years old would be exempted from criminal liability unless the minor acted with discernment. A Senate version is also in the works lowering criminal responsibility from 15 to 13.

Under RA 9344, children aged 15 years old and below are exempted from criminal liability.

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