President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses for a photo with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Civil Service Commission Chair Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala, and the awardees of the 2018 Outstanding Government Workers Awards following the conferment ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace on September 27, 2018. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, September 27, led the conferment of the 2017 Gawad Career Executive Service (CES) and the 2018 Outstanding Government Workers Awards.

“I am glad to join you today as we honor outstanding civil servants who set the standards of competence, accountability, and integrity in public service,” President Duterte said during the awards rites held here at the Rizal Hall.

For this year, 27 civil servants, mostly teachers, received the award for Outstanding Government Workers, while three honorees received the Presidential Gawad CES.

They were Schools Division Superintendent of Catbalogan City Cristito A. Eco (CESO VI), Department of Budget and Management Assistant Secretary Myrna S. Chua (CESO III), and Bureau of Local Health Systems Development Director Enrique Tayag (CESO III).

The coveted recognitions are granted to those civil servants who showcase exemplary performance in their respective fields and made a significant contribution to the society.

Before the awarding rites, President Duterte administered the oath to 170 new career executive officers.

Present during the event were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Department of the Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, Ombudsman Samuel Martires, Civil Service Commission Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala, Commissioner Leopoldo Roberto Valderosa Jr., and Career Executive Service Board Executive Director Atty. Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones.

Repealing the Law for Juvenile Offenders

Moreover, President Duterte, during his speech, told the awardees the challenges that the government has been facing in establishing peace and order and fighting criminality in the country.

According to the President, there’s a peculiarity in the current law, which contributes to the increasing number of juvenile offenders. “What caused the…’yang bigla na lang ang mga anak natin naging mga kriminal at an early age? Panahon ni Ramos, Marcos, and even…wala ‘yan,” he said.

“Ang Criminal Code noon — nine below, no criminal liability. Espanyol pa ‘yan, iyong libro na ‘yan… Revised Penal Code. Then above nine, below 12 and above 12, below 16. Meron ‘yang Indeterminate Sentence Law. So if you rape, you steal, you kill… after robbing, killing, raping, you should be treated as an adult offender,” he continued.

He also said that with the current law, the police cannot rightfully execute their duty if the offenders are minors, even if the crimes committed are heinous. “Kasi alam ninyo, pagka-minor, he goes out. ‘Pag sinabi niya, ‘I am just 14 years old,’ he goes out. Walang seremonya. Ang pulis naman, matakot. Because sila ‘yung ma-demanda eh. Kaya ako, in the meantime, wala man akong panlaban diyan.”

“Iyon ang dahilan. Alam mo ang nawala sa mga bata? The sense of accountability. Labas-pasok sila noon eh. Ke mag-rape, ke magpatay, labas the following day,” the President added.

However, according to the President, there were some legislators who expressed a similar sentiment and conveyed their intent to amend the policy. “Nakipagkita ‘yung ibang senador kagabi, ah noong isang gabi. They will try to repeal the law,” President Duterte noted. ###PND

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