City jail holds twice its capacity

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Friday, June 15, 2012

THE number of inmates inside the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan is nearly twice that of its capacity.

Built for only 1,080 inmates, the facility now holds 2,085 prisoners, and their number continues to grow each day, Police Coordinating and Advisory Council presiding officer Eugene Elizalde disclosed yesterday.

Elizalde said this is the reason the City Government is refusing the transfer of former mayor Alfredo Arsenio of Lezo, Aklan to the jail facility.


“We are really 100 percent overcapacity,” he said.

Arsenio, who is facing a murder charge for the death of a broadcaster in Aklan, is being detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), following the transfer of his case in Cebu City.


The Cebu Provincial Government, however, wants Arsenio transferred to the city jail after it was found that some jail guards from the Province-owned facility reportedly gave the former mayor special treatment.

Apart from being overpopulated, the city jail is housing other high profile inmates, Elizalde said.

It has also problems that need to be addressed, such as the entry of contraband.

“So, we are reiterating the stand of the City Government that we cannot accommodate the former mayor,” he said.

A month ago, the City wrote Judge Sylva Paderanga, who is handling Arsenio’s case, that the City is not amenable to the transfer of the former mayor.

As for the city jail’s overpopulation, Elizalde said they will bring up with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology the possibility of expanding the facility.

But Elizalde is also appealing to the judiciary to hasten the resolution of the cases of the inmates to decongest the facility. Majority of the inmates at the city jail, totaling 1,738, are awaiting trial.

Elizalde said those who will be convicted will be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 15, 2012.

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