MAMBAJAO, Camiguin, September 27 (PIA) – As protectors of the rights of Child in Conflict with the Law (CICL), the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee (RJJWC)-10 held the Juvenile Justice Administration Dialogue with the Five Pillars of Juvenile Justice System on September 22 at Villa Paraiso Resort and Apartelle, here.
The five pillars of the Juvenile Justice System as cited by JJWC Executive Director Lawyer Tricia Clare Oco include the community, enforcement, prosecution, courts and correction.
The community refers to institutions, government and non-government agencies, and people’s organizations that provide care and assistance to the Children at Risk (CAR) and CICL.
In enforcement, Oco said that the Philippine National Police (PNP), through the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC), conducts awareness campaigns, values development seminars, family orientation and other capacity building activities to promote the rights and protection of women and children.
To protect the children, the competent authorities must refrain from branding or labeling children as young criminals, juvenile delinquents, deviants, prostitutes, vagrants or other similar derogatory labels and attaching to them, in any manner, any other derogatory names.
Furthermore, workers who handle such cases must ensure privacy and confidentiality of records of Children at Risk (CAR) and CICL at all stages.
The prosecution on the other hand, is mainly acted upon by the public prosecutors or fiscal from the National Prosecution Service (Department of Justice), special prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman, deputized prosecutors such as the lawyers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or Commission on Human Rights (CHR), office of the Solicitor General, and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
“The prosecutor shall conduct a preliminary investigation only when the child in conflict with the law does not qualify for diversion, when the child and his/her parents or guardian do not agree to diversion, as specified in Sections 27 and 28, and when considering the assessment and recommendation of the social worker, the prosecutor determines that diversion is not appropriate for the child in conflict with the law,” Oco said.
As to ensuring that no child is detained in jail, the court will not commit any CICL to BJMP facilities or other detention centers with pending trial of cases. The detention center will then immediately issue an Order of Release if it is brought to the attention of the court that a CICL is detained in jail or prison-like facilities.
For the last pillar, CICL whose sentences are suspended, may be placed in DSWD-Regional Rehabilitation Centers for Youth (RRCY) or other Residential Care Facilities (RCF) handling CICL upon order of the court.
The Multi-Disciplinary Team of RRCYs or RCFs will then provide the necessary interventions, approaches and strategies that will enable the CICL or CAR to improve their social functions with the end goal of their reintegration as productive members of their families and communities.
Aside from ensuring that the roles of the said pillars be properly executed, the JJWC also handles the dissemination of Compilation and Analysis of Supreme Court Decisions interpreting RA 9344, conduct of research on existing intervention programs for CICL and CAR, and design and development of systems of the National Juvenile Justice and Welfare- Management Information System.(RTP/PIA10)