THE Bureau of Correction (Bucor) is studying the possibility of granting an executive clemency to persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are 70 years old and above in a bid to decongest the jail facilities in the country.
Bucor officer-in-charge retired General Gregorio Catapang said in a radio interview on Sunday, November 27, 2022, that granting executive clemency to elderlies was done under the leadership of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by virtue of an executive order.
“Kasi sabi nila, 70 years old, hindi na makakaisip ‘yan gumawa ng krimen,” he said.
(Because they say, 70 years old can no longer think of committing a crime.)
Decongesting jail facilities was one of the priorities of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, who earlier said that the New Bilibid Prison has a congestion rate of 300 percent.
Remulla said they are also studying the possible transfer of PDLs in the National Bilibid Prison’s (NBP) maximum security compound to the Sablayan Prison in Occidental Mindoro and the minimum security to Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
Catapang said Remulla also ordered the transfer of about 1,500 elderly PDLs, waiting for release, to Fort Magsaysay.
PDLs who are eligible for parole or executive clemency were those who are 65 years old and above; those who have served at least five years of their sentence; and those whose continued imprisonment is inimical to their health, as recommended by a physician of the BuCor Hospital and certified by the Department of Health or designated by the Malacañang Clinic Director.
PDLs who were convicted of heinous crimes or illegal drugs-related offenses, or otherwise classified by the BuCor as “high-risk,” shall not be eligible for executive clemency.
The Bucor has released over 500 PDLs since September. (SunStar Philippines)
November 28, 2022
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