Council wants separate prison for drug-related criminals

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BAGUIO CITY – The City will scout for a lot to put up separate penal institutions exclusively for persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in drug-related cases.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week approved Resolution No. 184-18 authored by Coun. Lilia Fariñas requesting the City Planning and Development Office, in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Male and Female Dorms and the Bureau of Corrections, to identify an area within the City for the possibility of constructing two facilities for male and female inmates with drug-related crimes.

Farinas said laws mandate the segregation of PDLs according to crimes committed like the Sub-section (a) Section 2. Drug Users/Dependents/Alcoholics, under Rule IV of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Comprehensive Operations Manual states that: “Inmates found to be drug users/dependents/alcoholics should be segregated from other inmates, especially during the withdrawal period” and the same rule applies for sex offenders, sex deviates, senior citizens, and convicted inmates.

She added that according to sub-section (c) Segregation Scheme, under Rule V, Section 5. Operations of the Bureau of Corrections, R.A. 10575, it is provided that: “…inmates shall also be internally classified by the DRD (Directorate for Reception and Diagnostics) and segregated according to crimes committed based on the related penal codes such as Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Properties, Crimes Against Chastity, so on and so forth, as well as by other related Special Laws, Customs Laws and Immigration Laws.

“This is to ensure that an inmate will not be susceptible to acquire other criminal skills brought about by his exposure with other inmates who are committed to BuCor for different crimes of offenses, which normally happens in the present prison setup,” she noted.

Farinas said this will address the problem of congestion at the City Jail.

“It has been reported that the Male Dorm of the Baguio City Jail is more than 400 percent above its holding capacity, with a total jail population of 474 inmates exceeding its original capacity meant for 100 PDLs (while) the female dorm has 101 inmates, or 100 percent more than its ideal capacity of 50 PDLs,” she said.

Farinas also noted that according to Baguio City Jail Male Dorm Warden J/CInsp. Elvis Danglose, he congestion is due to the national government’s campaign against illegal drugs such that of the 474 inmates inside the male dorm almost 50 percent or 211 PDLs had drug-related cases the same way that out of the 101 PDLs inside the female dorm, 45 were drug-related.

“To address the problem of congestion and to comply with the provisions of the above cited laws, it is imperative for the city to identify available areas for this purpose,” Farinas said.

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

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