For returning to cells, 141 inmates to get jail term cut
TACLOBAN CITY—For returning to their cells when Supertyphoon “Yolanda” gave them the chance to escape, several prisoners at the city jail here would be rewarded with reduced prison time, according to jail officials.
A proposal made by Chief Insp. Rell Sonon, jail warden, to reward the prisoners who returned to the prison when Yolanda struck in November 2013 has been approved by the management, screening and evaluation committee of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The approval came on Dec. 25.
Inmates who would qualify can expect a two-fifths reduction in their prison terms. At least 141 inmates are expected to avail themselves of the reward.
Sonon announced the good news to inmates on Dec. 30 during a visit to the jail by Bishop John Du.
Du, archbishop of Palo, Leyte province, said he welcomed the reward system for the inmates, saying it coincided with the declaration by Pope Francis of 2016 as the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Sonon said during the onslaught of Yolanda in the city in 2013, at least 160 prisoners escaped from the jail, which suffered heavy damage from the world’s strongest storm to hit land.
Of the 160 who fled the jail at Yolanda’s height, 141 returned while 19 are still at large.
According to Sonon, the reward system is allowed by Republic Act No. 10592, otherwise known as the “Good Conduct Time Allowance Law,” which took effect a year before Yolanda struck Leyte.
“This is the first time that the law will be applied,” Sonon said. “That is why we are glad that it will be applied first in Tacloban,” he said.
He said the names of inmates who would avail themselves of the reward would be submitted to courts that have jurisdiction over the inmates’ cases to make the prison term reduction official.
The city jail currently has 643 inmates crammed in two buildings that have 12 cells each.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.