A 62-year-old Filipino-American retired member of the US Navy died after being stabbed by two minors in Zamora Street, Barangay 7 in Tacloban City, early Monday morning.
According to the Tacloban City Police Office, early Monday morning, the victim, Thomas Mate, noticed that someone entered his rented establishment.
The two suspects, aged 16 and 17, hid in a corner, but the retired US Navy saw them.
It was there that the suspects allegedly stabbed the victim, which resulted in his death.
The perpetrators stole the victim’s cellphone and approximately P7,000 cash.
Less than half a day after the crime, the two perpetrators were arrested immediately.
Because they are minors, the suspects will be taken to the facility for children in conflict with the law.
Police Maj. Winrich Lim, chief of Station 2 of the Tacloban City Police Office, said that it is time to re-examine the bill that lowers the age of criminal liability.
Minors kill Fil-Am US Navy veteran in Tacloban City
“Here in Police Station 2 of Tacloban City Police Office, our apprehensions were mostly minors for the crime of theft, robbery, alarm, and scandal, possession of deadly weapon and now robbery with homicide. I think there is a need to revisit the lowering [the age] of criminal liability,” Lim said.
According to Philippine Laws, a child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act.
A child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise be exempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act.
In 2019, the House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill meant to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years to 12 years, not nine as earlier proposed.