DOJ open to creation of 3 maximum prisons for Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday expressed support to proposals for the establishment of maximum penal institutions in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“The DOJ (Department of Justice) will support any and all bills aiming to decongest and modernize our prison facilities,” Guevarra told reporters.
However, Guevarra said the realization of such a proposal will depend on the priorities of the legislative branch given the competing claims of other sectors such as public works and education.
“A possible gamechanger is the privatization of the sellable portions of the NBP property, which could be the stand-alone funding source, but this is subject to a comprehensive legal audit and feasibility study, not to mention the political will to do it,” Guevarra said.
Currently, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is in charge of seven penal institutions – the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao del Norte, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, and the Leyte Regional Prison in Southern Leyte.
It was reported that the Senate committees on justice and human rights, public order and dangerous drugs and finance filed Senate Bill No. 1055 that proposed the creation of separate “state-of-the-art” facilities that would house inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
The proposal to construct dedicated prison facilities for heinous crimes convicts came on the heels of allegations of miscomputed good conduct time allowance (GCTA) that allegedly benefitted nearly 2,000 prisoners, otherwise called Persons Deprived of Liberty. /kga
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