More than 50 percent of Baguio PDLs are facing drug charges

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More than half of the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Baguio City Jail male dorm have been charged with violations of provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

In her report, Jail Superintendent Mary Ann Tresmanio, warden of the Baguio City Jail male dorm, stated that of the 353 PDLs, 190 or 53.82 percent of the jail population have been charged for various drug offenses that are pending before the different local courts.

She underscored that drug cases ranks the top in the crime statistics of the said jail facility.

Further, Tresmanio claimed that drug cases are followed by 50 cases of rape which accounts for 14.16 percent of the existing jail population in violation of the provisions of RA 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

The male dorm warden disclosed 21 murder cases representing 5.95 percent ranks third in the composition of the jail population.

According to her, there are also 16 cases of acts of lasciviousness representing 4.53 percent and additional 15 cases of homicide that account for 4.25 percent, respectively, of the total jail population.

The jail officer noted that the monthly average PDL release ranges from 20-25 mainly through the posting of bail bond, dismissal of cases or the  service of sentence by the concerned PDLs through RA 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance or the grant of the same because of good conduct, study, teaching and mentoring services or loyalty of the PDLs.

From January 2021 to date, the Baguio City Jail dorm has reportedly accommodated a total of 3,583 PDLs with a daily average jail population of 330 PDLs.

As of November 12, 2021, there are some 353 PDLs that have been committed to the said facility.

Tresmanio asserted that jails are considered enclosed residential spaces, thus, PDLs must observe community quarantine restrictions because a single infection will spread like a wild fire if it happens in the said facility.

She admitted that social or physical distancing is impossible to impose in the said facility because of their prevailing congestion rate at 134 percent that is why the lot donated by the local government for a new city jail is an answered prayer for their perennial problem of high rate of congestion.

Tresmanio expressed the gratitude of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to the city government which is a manifestation of the city’s assurance that concerned government agencies deserve the utmost support for the advancement in the delivery of public service.

For the past several years, the city government had been looking for an available property that could be used to host a new city jail facility to accommodate more PDLs and expand the existing detention cells. By Dexter A. See

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