Jail in the limelight

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I SURMISE that there are just too many who couldn’t believe on the improvement and development of the Pampanga Provincial Jail after the Pampanga leadership headed by Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda poured in funds since the years of her stint for the rehabilitation of the old “Presidio”.

The provincial jail is grabbing the limelight toady along with its latest high-profile inmate Delfin Lee who was ordered by the court to be incarcerated to the provincial penal institution.

Lee was arrested last week by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the court due to estafa charges in the alleged double sale of Xevera Housing projects and the housing loans from the Pagibig that were contracted by alleged ghost borrowers.

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But this is not about the detainee or the case that I just mentioned, but about the Pampanga Provincial Jail that many have commented that it was greatly improved and developed as compared to what and how it was before.

A marker was placed in one of the buildings of the penal facility that says it was constructed in 1909 based on the design of William E. Parsons as a jail until it was occupied by the Japanese forces during the Second World War.

When the war has ended and the reign of American liberators has ended too, the American government gave it to the Philippine government and was used since then as a jail facility while its second floor was used as the offices of the Court of Agrarian Reform and the Court of First Instance.

It was also mentioned in the said marker that the building has been maintained of its original architectural design of provincial jails during the American period.

The building has great historical value. The age of the building itself, which has withstood the test of time, survived the war and still stand after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo is a thing to consider and to be valued.

The Pampanga Provincial Jail is worth preserving and maintained because of its traces of history. It houses personalities albeit with criminal records and stood witness to those who were charged in courts, truly guilty of the crimes charged or otherwise.

Despite its old American architectural design, the provincial jail has experienced fires and floods. It has suffered structural damage too because of the wear and tear of the materials used in its construction.

Despite its old age, the jail institution is fortunate to have maintained its stature. It has been repaired, rehabilitated and maintained the provincial government through the years.

Of all the provincial administrations that the province had, it was the administration of the present governor Pineda which has brought attention to the provincial jail. She has allocated funds for its repairs and for the expansion of its facilities.

She has given the comfort of the inmates through the construction of additional buildings and the refurbishments of the existing ones.

One notable improvement of the facility is the installation of closed-circuit television cameras for its security and the security of those who are detained. Provincial jail guards who have been boosted their morale, can now closely monitor what’s happening inside and out of the detention building.

Aside from the comfort of the inmates and even the personnel manning the building, Governor Pineda has preserved yet another piece of history through the allocation of funds from the provincial government for its maintenance and operations.

The provincial jail will continue to house inmates regardless the gravity of their charges and penalties and will further stand the time. It’s not only those who are jailed that get the limelight but also the institution to which they are placed.

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For any comments, ideas, suggestions or opinions, text or call The Advocate at 09213636360 or send email at dencious@yahoo.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 14, 2014.

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