House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali says his panel is eyeing a compromise on the proposel to lower the age of criminal responsbility now that the proposal continues to draw opposition.

The committee is expected to make a report on the bill to the plenary for its own action soon.

” Again I do not want to preempt what the Committee will say but siguro as early as now, I was briefed by my ComSec and that there are various options now being pursued. One of which, and this is something very new, na siguro bukas mas maiintindihan natin is ie-enhance lang natin yung existing law. So, I do not know the details yet. I was just briefly briefed by the ComSec and hopefully I get a better understanding. Just before I came to this conference room, I’ll know more about it when I get back to the office.”

Umali says its possible they won’t reduce the age of criminal responsibility. “That is the possibility. But I do not want to preempt the decision of the committee.”

Umali reports that the Justice Committee already has accomplished a lot in the first regular session of the 17th Congress.” we have a total of more than 200 bills, of which eight bills are already approved on Third Reading and then about 28 bills have already been approved at the committee level, and another 39 bills are now pending before the different sub-committees that we created to hasten the disposition of all bills pending with us. Iyong mga iba have already been initiated. Hopefully…we still have two Regular Sessions to go and we hope to accomplish everything by end of our term in 2019. “

One of the achievements of the committee is the probe of the alleged proliferation of illlegal drugs at the state penitentiary under de lima when she was justice secretary. de Lima is now being tried for preventing witness Ronnie Dayan from facing the probe. Umali says he is ready to testify” Well, I cannot go against the court lest I’ll be imprisoned also for… tulad nung nangyari kay Dayan. Hindi nga. Kasi while it is there, yun pala ang may pending incident. I checked on it. There was a pending incident which is a Motion for Reconsideration filed by Senator De Lima on the matter of the finding of the court on probable cause. And so that being the case, since there is a pending matter the court has to first resolve that before we can proceed to trial. ”