103,000 inmates freed from prisons in 2022, says Abalos
MANILA, Philippines — At least 103,000 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) were released in 2022 as part of the government’s efforts to decongest jail facilities nationwide, said Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.
Abalos, in a statement on Tuesday, said some 77,960 PDLs were freed through paralegal services, while 25,333 others were released using other paralegal modes.
He also noted that around 6,288 or 10 percent of the total jail population were released from penal facilities every month.
Abalos then called on the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to continue addressing the issue of overcrowded prisons, which, he noted, has long plagued the country.
“I know for sure that BJMP will not stop here. Alam kong patuloy nilang pangungunahan ang pagpapabuti ng kalagayan ng ating mga kababayang PDL (I know they’ll continue to lead efforts to improve the living conditions of PDLs in our country),” he added.
Citing the latest data of the BJMP, the DILG chief said there is a 367 percent congestion rate across 478 jail facilities in the Philippines.
The Commission on Audit (COA), in its 2021 audit report, previously said that 71 percent of jail facilities nationwide are heavily congested by as much as 2,696 percent.
This, according to COA, resulted in the worsening of PDLs’ living conditions as the population in the BJMP facilities climbed from 115,336 in 2020 to 125,247 in 2021.
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