The Senate Committees on Justice and Human Rights, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, and Finance filed Senate Bill No. 1055 that proposes the establishment of a separate facility for prisoners of heinous crimes.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Senate OKs bill for creating separate prisons for heinous crime convicts
Kristine Joy Patag ( - December 16, 2019 - 6:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate approved on third and final reading a proposal to build a separate “state-of-the-art” prison facility for convicts of high-level heinous crimes.

Senate Bill No. 1055 was approved with 21 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstentions in a plenary session Monday afternoon.

The Senate Committees on Justice and Human Rights, Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and Finance filed their version of bill last September.

If passed into law, three maximum security penal institutions will be built in Luzon, then Visayas and Mindanao.

The Justice secretary will determine the location of the maximum security penal facilities, which will be built in a secured and isolated place to ensure that there will be no unwarranted contact from outside the penal institution.

Surveillance cameras, the latest information and security system capable of 24/7 monitoring of prisoners, and enhanced and extensive security features on locks, doors and its perimeters will also be installed in the facilities.

Inmates will be transferred to the facilities within 30 days from the completion of the penal institutions.

The prison administration will conduct a regular internal inspection, while the Department of Justice will conduct an external inspection on a regular basis.

The Bureau of Corrections is a line agency of the DOJ.

Funding to build the facility will be taken from the budget of DOJ, according to the proposed measure.

Heinous crimes defined in IRR

The revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act 10692 that expanded time allowances for good conduct defined the following as heinous crimes:

  • Treason
  • Piracy in general and mutiny on the high seas in Philippine waters
  • Qualified piracy
  • Qualified bribery
  • Parricide
  • Murder
  • Infanticide
  • Kidnapping and serious illegal detention
  • Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons
  • Destructive arson
  • Rape
  • Importation, distribution, manufacturing and possession of illegal drugs

The definition of heinous crimes follows Supreme Court jurisprudence and RA 7659 or the Heinous Crimes Act, which imposed death penalty on crimes deemed “grievous, odious and hateful offenses.”

The bill was filed after several Senate committees conducted a series of legislative inquiries into the RA 10592 and the possible early release of rapist-murderer Antonio Sanchez.

The Senate hearings also uncovered corruption schemes plaguing BuCor.

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