By Junex Doronio
November 27, 2022
Inside a massively congested NBP (Photo courtesy of CNN Ph)
MANILA — Save for those who have been convicted of heinous crimes or illegal drug-related offenses, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Sunday bared that it is eyeing the possibility of releasing persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are in their proverbial twilight years or those septuagenarians to unclog the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) found to have a congestion rate of 300%.
A septuagenarian is a person who is from 70 to 79 years old.
BuCor officer-in-charge (OIC) General Gregorio Catapang Jr. said that granting executive clemency to elderly PDLs was practiced during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now an ally of the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“Under the law daw, panahon ni President GMA, may batas siya o executive order na inisyu na lahat ng 70 years old up ay [bigyan] na ng parole o palayain na kahit papa’no kasi sabi nila, 70 years old, hindi na makakaisip ‘yan gumawa ng krimen,” Catapang said on interview with Super Radyo dzBB.
Earlier, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson Mico Clavano disclosed that Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla would prioritize the decongestion of jails under the BuCor, as the NBP was found to have a congestion rate of 300%.
He also said that Remulla is seeking to transfer the maximum security of the NBP to the Sablayan Prison in Occidental Mindoro and the minimum security to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
Catapang noted that more than 1,500 elderly PDLs could be transferred to the facility in Fort Magsaysay.
Earlier reports said several elderly PDLs have been praying to be included in the list for executive clemency. (ai/mtvn)