BuCor plans to separate inmates based on crime

Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2022 02:22 PM

MANILA — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is planning to separate persons deprived of liberty (PDL) according to the crime they committed as part of reforms in the state penitentiary following a series of controversies.

BuCor officer-in-charge Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr. said there is already a regionalization plan to decongest the New Bilibid Prison, which can only accommodate 6,000 inmates but currently detaining roughly 30,000.

This includes the separation of PDLs who committed heinous crimes such as murder, rape, and drug-related violations in each region.

“Sa tatlong region na ‘yun (sa Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao), mamimili tayo saan ba ‘yung drugs, saan ba ‘yung rape, saka saan ba ‘yung murder. Hindi namin sila pagsasama-samahin. So, maghi-hiwalay-hiwalay ‘yang mga ‘yan,” he said in a media interview Friday.

The BuCor has already identified areas of regionalization, which include Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao region.

The regional prisons will also have maximum, medium, and minimum facilities.

A facility at military reservation Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija can be utilized as early as “early next year,” according to Catapang.

“Dito sa Region 3, pinakiusapan po ni Secretary (Jesus Crispin Remulla of Department of Justice) sa leval nila through DOH (Department of Health), at saka Department of National Defense na magamit namin ‘yung tinayo sa 7th division na facility for drug addict na hindi naman nagagamit,” Catapang said.

Remulla said the regionalization will make it easier for the PDL’s families and loved ones to visit them.

“Ito (New Bilibid Prison) marahil ang pinakamalaki sa Asya at isa sa pinakamalaki sa mundo. Nahihirapan ang ating pamilya dumalaw lalong lalo na kung malayo ang pinanggagalingan,” he said.

UNCLAIMED BODIES

The regionalization of prison is also seen to address the piling up of remains of dead PDLs that are unclaimed supposedly due to transportation issues of their loved ones.

“Ang nagiging problema nga po, siguro po kasi wala na pong relatives na pumupunta [para kunin ang bangkay]. Either tawid-dagat or nag iba na po ng address,” said Sr. Supt. Ma. Cecilia Villanueva, director of BuCor's health and welfare services.

Catapang added, “Mas madadalaw sila. Mas mabibilis silang mare-reintegrate sa society dahil taga-doon sila. Pangatlo, hindi naman natin gustong mangyari, ‘pag namatay sila, madali silang makukuha, hindi na tawid-dagat.”

The BuCor on Friday buried 60 cadavers of PDLs that were not claimed by their relatives from the Eastern Funeral Services in Muntinlupa City.

The bodies are among the 176 remains earlier found piled up at the funeral parlor during the investigation on the death of Jun Villamor, the alleged middleman in the murder of journalist Percy Lapid.

At present, there are still around 100 cadavers left at the funeral parlor.

Sixty of these are set to be buried next Friday.

“‘Yung matitira po is more than 40 po. ‘Yun po kung sakali po na may dumating na relative, hihingi po kami ng consent na kung pwede po ipa-autopsy,” Villanueva said.

Remulla earlier ordered the autopsy of the remains following a report that at least 2 to 3 people die almost every day at the New Bilibid Prison.

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