Close  

‘Alcatraz’ for drug lords pushed

‘THE ROCK’  A senator wants a Philippine version of the former US prison island that is now a tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. AFP

‘THE ROCK’  A senator wants a Philippine version of the former US prison island that is now a tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. AFP

Of the country’s 7,107 islands, one can have a special purpose.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III said he would start his stint in the 17th Congress by reviving his proposal to have an “Alcatraz-style” prison island for convicted drug traffickers, who could allegedly still run their lucrative business from the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sotto on Wednesday said he would refile his Senate Bill No. 3326 on July 1. The bill calls for the segregation of so-called VIP prisoners, who would otherwise be sent to the lethal injection chamber if the country is still imposing capital punishment.

If passed, he said, the bill would do away with the need to reimpose the death penalty on high-level drug lords, as being espoused by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sotto said the proposal to reimpose the death penalty would not be retroactive and thus not applicable to convicted drug lords who continue to find ways to operate behind bars.

Even if there was optimism that the Senate measure might be passed in three to five months, Sotto said there was no assurance that the death penalty would be implemented because some groups would likely challenge it in the Supreme Court.

Still, he said, he intended to refile his bill in order to stop the continued operations of the drug convicts.

“Segregation is allowed by the Constitution,” Sotto said. “If you segregate (high-level drug convicts) and establish a national penitentiary for high-level drug crimes, this will be more restrictive as they will be confined in one place and they can be watched closely.”

“If they are confined in a rocky island in Palawan… Alcatraz-style, they cannot operate anymore. There will be no phones, no cell sites.”

This would be a big change from their current condition at New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, which is also coping with overcrowding and “where a lot of things are happening,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

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.

TAGS: Alcatraz, Crime, drug lords, Drugs, Metro, news
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.