Senate OKs on 2nd reading 'supermax' prisons for heinous crime convicts

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2019 12:12 AM

MANILA - The Senate on Tuesday approved on 2nd reading a bill that would establish separate prisons for inmates convicted of heinous crimes.

Senate Bill 1055 proposes to create at least 3 “state of the art” maximum security facilities in “isolated” areas that would house drug lords, rapists and other heinous crime convicts.

“Malaki made-decongest, pangalawa, mas mababantayan sila dahil sila-sila lang nandun,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III, one of the bill’s authors, said.

“Hindi na sila makakapag-operate sa labas kasi itong facility na gagawin natin, bawal ang komunikasyon,” he told ABS-CBN News.

Segregating heinous crime convicts from petty criminals is important in the reformative process, said former Bureau of Corrections chief and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.

Minor offenders need all the support they can get from their families, but heinous criminals will not be given the privilege of closely communicating with visitors as they use this system in illegal transactions, Dela Rosa said.

Visitors in the planned “super maximum” facility will have to talk to inmates behind a glass window “just like in the movies,” the former police chief said.

“Kailangan kasi special attention, special tutok sa kanila kasi sige pa rin sila sa pag-conduct ng business kahit nakakulong,” he said.

“Ginagamit nila kanilang mga bisita as courier of information,” he said.

Details of the location of the special facilities for drug lords, rapists and murderers have yet to be ironed out.

Dela Rosa wants a new building built inside the national penitentiary, another in the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, and in the Davao Penal Colony.

Sotto opts to construct a brand new facility in an “island somewhere in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.”