SC suspends transfer of inmates to BuCor facilities
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator has instructed lower court judges to suspend issuing commitment orders to convicted persons deprived of liberties to jail facilities under the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez issued the circular following the request of BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag.
Bantag, in his letter dated July 22, requested the suspension “to prevent further contamination of COVID-19 among PDL and to minimize the movement of PDL from BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) to the Bureau of Corrections.”
The suspension will last until Aug. 31, 2020.
“All convicted PDLs who should have otherwise been committed to the BuCor shall in the meantime remain and be committed in the BJMP jail units,” said Marquez in the OCA Circular 125-2020.
Movements of inmates have been suspended.
Last week, Marquez issued a similar circular ordering trial court judges to suspend issuance of commitment orders to jails managed by BJMP upon the request of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
For now, until Aug. 31, all criminal offenders will remain in the detention facilities of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
BJMP has a congestion rate of 534 percent in its 467 jails with over 700 inmates testing positive of COVID-19.
BuCor, on the other hand has a population of 36,938 with 20,982 at the New Bilbid Prison. Its other penal facilities are the 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.
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