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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

I vote “No” to House Bill No. 8858, as amended. The reduction of the threshold on the minimum age of criminal responsibility from the present 15 years of age to 12 years, instead of 9 years as originally proposed, is still anti-child for the following reasons:

I vote NO for the following overriding reasons:

1. There is no constitutional and factual bases for the extension because rebellion does not persist in Mindanao and public safety is not imperiled. Sporadic incidents of lawlessness and terrorism do not make a rebellion. The justification proffered by the Executive is a rehashed pretense and a self-serving claim.

The Charter Change embodied in Resolution of Both Houses No. 15 is an initiative that has floundered before it could take off. 

Its centerpiece agenda on the shift to federalism is a virtual centerfold because it is bare. No less President Duterte’s economic advisers have exposed it as not economically viable. 

The undue haste in shifting from the unitary to the federal system of government will further deteriorate the economy. Alacrity could spell disaster.

The President’s chief economist, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia, has scored the country’s lack of preparedness for a shift to federalism.

(Presentation of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman at the Side Event Activity in the United Nations Economic and Social Council Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development in Bangkok, Thailand on 27 November 2018)

In September 1994, 179 governments, including the Philippines, adopted the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. Almost a quarter of a century later, the ICPD is still the enviable template on reproductive health and rights, family planning and the linkage between population and development.

(Speech delivered by REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN at the Elderly Filipino Week Celebration of Tabaco City on 12 October 2018)

The youth are often praised and admired for being the hope of the future and their achievements regularly extolled. But we should not forget that if the youth are the hope of the future, senior citizens are the fulfillment of the present and their invaluable contributions to the development of the nation must likewise be applauded and underscored.

I am therefore heartened to see so many senior citizens here this evening, all as proud of their gray hair and wrinkles as they are of their well-lived and productive lives. And as I look at you, my contemporaries, I am reminded of the adage “For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest.”