Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has urged Senate leaders to prioritize the passage of measures to address the congestion problem in different detention facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in the coming 18th Congress.
“We urge our Senate leaders and the other members of the upcoming 18th Congress to quickly address the congestion and inhumane condition of our jail facilities,” she said.
If not quickly solved, she warned that it may put the health and lives of inmates, who are presumed innocent until proven guilty, in danger.
The detained senator issued the call in reaction to the Commission on Audit’s report calling out the BJMP over the inhumane conditions and overpopulation in its prison facilities. In its report, COA noted the congestion rate in the country’s jails decreased to 439.48 percent in 2018 from 612 percent in 2017.
While there was a significant drop in the congestion rate, she said COA insisted that the figure is still way high in terms of BJMP’s own operations manual and the United Nations’ standards on the treatment of prisoners.