QC jail has 650 percent congestion rate

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2018 09:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 30 2018 10:53 PM

Authorities found severe congestion at a Quezon City Police District detention facility during an inspection on Thursday, with inmates suffering from diseases such as boils and tuberculosis.

Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo, chief of Philippine National Police-Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO), discovered that the QCPD Station 4 custodial facility has a 650 percent congestion rate.

A roomful of detainees suffered from tuberculosis cellulitis, boils, and other skin disorders. 

Sixty-five inmates who had boils were separated so they can find relief in an airconditioned room. 

Mang Ariel, one of the detainees in QCPD Station 4, has been infected with boils for a month already.

A detainee of QCPD station 4 in Novaliches recently died because of sepsis or blood contamination. He was detained last August 3 and was later confined at San Lazaro Hospital. 

QCPD Station 4 Chief Supt. Rossel Cejas said cell capacity at the facility is only for 50 persons: 30 men and 20 women, but the current population is 231, with 164 men and 37 women.

International standards dictate that there should be 4.7 square meters per person for those detained under police custody.

PNP-HRAO said QCPD Station 4 has an average arrest of 80-90 persons weekly, but only 20 are turned over to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. 

"Sa una pa lang, pag ininquest na nila sa fiscal, sa prosecutor, 1 to 2 months bago iakyat sa korte, at i-arraign ang person under PNP custody para ma-issue-han ng commitment order ng court," Siervo said.

"Kapag umabot ng isang buwan yan nandito sa amin kaya nakikita niyo naiipon sila. Pakiusap sana namin, mabilis ang pag-issue ng commitment order para mailipat na sila sa BJMP."

Cejas said they could not stop making arrests because they need to implement the law. 

“Hindi naman kami pwedeng huminto sa panghuhuli dahil kailangan naming implement ang batas,” Cejas said. 

“We see to it na kapag maganda ang panahon, inilalabas namin sila, pinapaarawan para mabawasan ang pamamanas ng katawan, yung mga skin diseases nila, mabawasan,” he added. 

Valenzuela Police Station, meanwhile, is considered a model custodial facility of the police. 

The prisoners are segregated properly. Senior citizens, women, petty crime offenders and drug offenders have their own custodial cells. 

The cells have windows and are properly ventilated with high ceiling and industrial fans. Every cell has its own clean restroom. 

Valenzuela Police Deputy Chief of Police for Administration Supt. Freddie Colico said the inmates take a bath 2-3 times a day. 

PNP-HRAO data on congested custodial facilities as of July 2018 showed that Central Visayas has the most congested custodial facility.

Ideal capacity of the facilities are 123 prisoners but the region has 494 persons under police custody with 301.62 percent congestion. 

Next on the most congested list is Calabarzon with 145.98 percent congestion rate, Central Luzon with 145.36 percent, Caraga with 143.47 percent, and Metro Manila with 95.9 percent.