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THE number of child offenders continues to burgeon and has almost tripled in the last four years, according to police records.The alarming trend has become a major concern for law enforcement authorities because statistics showed that more children are committing rape and sexual abuses.A dramatic increase in the number of juvenile cases or children in conflict with the law was also recorded in the early years of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administration. What is particularly worrying, he added, is the rise in the number of children who commit rape, a crime punishable by life imprisonment if the perpetrator is an adult.Police records revealed that theft and robbery, sexual abuse and physical injuries are the most common crimes committed by children, which are also on an upward trend.Under the law, a child aged 15 and below at the commission of the crime is exempt from criminal liability. The child, however, will have to undergo an intervention program, which may include counseling. However, the child would have to undergo appropriate proceedings if it was proven that he acted with discernment.Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has strongly opposed the proposal to lower the minimum age for criminal liability for minors from 12 years old to 15 years old. Santiago maintained that young offenders should not be treated as criminals and punished but should be rehabilitated. By Anthony vargas (manila times) number of children committing crime surges Rehabilitative services for youth offenders, since the 1960s, have been the principal solution of the Philippine government, past and present, to the persistent social problem of juvenile delinquency.The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) maintains 10 regional rehabilitation centers throughout the country; biggest among these are the National Training School for Boys (NTSB) in Rizal province and the Marillac Hills for girls in Alabang, Metro Manila. There are also other youth centers run by various local...