BJMP forced to shelter around 59 youth offenders nationwide
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology (BJMP) was forced to accommodate 59 youth offenders nationwide as there are no Bahay Pag-Asa Centers in some local government units (LGUs), BJMP officer-in-charge Jail Chief Supt. Allan Iral said Tuesday.
“Meron pa ang BJMP na hinahawakan na 59 CICL [children in conflict with the law] or youth offenders. Dapat sa batas, Republic Act 9344 hindi na po dapat kami maghawak ng minor,” Iral told reporters in a press briefing at the BJMP Headquarters in Quezon City on Tuesday.
(The BJMP is handing 59 children in conflict with the law (CICL) or youth offenders. Under Republic Act 9344 we should not be handling minors.)
“Dahil walang Bahay Pag-Asa ang LGUs, napipilitan sa amin (This is because many LGUs do not have Bahay Pag-Asa centers),” he added.
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Bahay Pag-Asa Centers are rehabilitation facilities managed by the government as mandated by Republic Act (RA) No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.
Iral disclosed that one of the jail facilities is accommodating 39 CICL, but he did not mention the exact location of the facility due to confidentiality.
“‘Yung isang jail meron siyang 39 na CICL under dun nakakulong sa isang jail facility medyo sensitive itong issue ng CICL kasi may confidentiality ang record,” he said.
(There is one jail with 39 CICL. This is a sensitive issue because of the confidentiality of the records.)
However, Iral assured that the youth offenders are in separate facilities from other persons deprived of liberty (PDL).
“Kahit naman nandiyan sila [youth offenders] sine-segregate namin sila, hindi namin sila ihalo (We segregate the youth offenders),” he said.
The BJMP chief said most of the youth offenders are aged 15 to 17 years old, and the common crimes they have committed include drug-related offenses and robbery. /ee
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