Overstaying inmates crowd Bilibid housing: lawmaker-A A +A
Friday, June 3, 2011
A MEMBER of the House justice committee believes that the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa is still housing detainees who have completed their sentences, causing overcrowding in the national penitentiary.
Deputy Majority Leader and Marikina Representative Romero Frederico Quimbo bared this just days after Justice Secretary Leila De Lima told the House panel that the NBP is overpopulated by 200 percent.
"I will bet that there are prisoners in Muntinlupa who have exceeded their jail term. That is how disorganized its records are. I am 100 percent sure of that," Quimbo told reporters in a chance interview.
The situation of prisoners and the jail system in the country were looked into by the House committee after the controversial "out-of-prison" trip of former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste from the NBP.
Quimbo added that detainees who should have been freed get "stranded" in the NBP because their records may have been overlooked or simply because, the detainee refuses to go back to society.
"I have met some of them and they don't want to leave (Bilibid) because there is nothing to go back to (outside). If you look at the squatters surrounding the Bilibid, a lot of them are former detainees. They can't seem to get acclimatized and adjust to the society," Quimbo said.
The lawmaker also said that the "overstaying" detainees add up to NBP's woes, on top of the recently discovered privileges given to rich inmates like Leviste and murder convict Rolito Go.
Quimbo said the granting of such privileges is unforgivable considering that the victims' families give time and effort to secure conviction.
"It takes a lot of sweat, blood, and resources to get a conviction. After conviction, the victim's family should be able to relax. Apparently, that is not the case because the convict can still be free," he added.
On Wednesday, the House justice committee will convene inside the compounds of the NBP to deliberate on the proposed legislation seeking the modernization of the Bureau of Corrections and for an ocular inspection of the NBP. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)