Lawmakers eye separate remote facility for heinous crime convicts

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2019 12:59 AM

MANILA - Members of three of seven Senate committees investigating the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) controversy have filed a bill that seeks to totally separate heinous crime convicts from other persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) with lower jail sentences.

Senate Bill No. 1055 filed on September 17 bears the official title of “Separate Facility for Heinous Crimes Inmates Act”.

Among the sponsors of the bill are the Committees on Justice and Human Rights, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and Finance, with Senators Vicente Sotto III, Richard Gordon, Miguel Zubiri and Ronald dela Rosa as authors.

Other committees jointly investigating the GCTA mess are the Blue Ribbon Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, Committee on Civil Service and the Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

The bill states its intention to lock up heinous crime convicts in a penal facility located in a secured area “preferably within a military establishment or in an island separate in the mainland”.

“The maximum penal institution shall be located in a secured and isolated place ensuring that there is mo unwarranted contact or communication with those outside of the penal institution,” states section 5 of the said measure.

Part of the proposal is to put up such kind of restricted facility in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Sotto, in an interview Wednesday, stated the said bill will also be part of the reforms that the Senate would seek to apply in improving the sad state and ongoing anomalies within the Bureau of Corrections and the penal facilities under its supervision.

The bill is part of the partial committee report which is expected to be reported out to the floor by Gordon and to be seconded by Sotto.