PB okays CPDRC manual

Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - May 15, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved on third and final reading an ordinance that sets the guidelines of operations at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

The proposed CPDRC manual of operations and administration, which the PB passed Thursday during its special session, is aimed at improving and strengthening the jail’s management and corrective and reformative programs for the inmates, among others.

Among the provisions of the manual is the “limitation for admission of inmates,” considering the jail’s lack of cells and other facilities.

CPDRC acting jail warden Roberto “Bobby” Legaspi said the facility is no longer capable of accepting more inmates.

In fact, he said other new inmates have to sleep using improvized hammocks along the small hallways of the penitentiary.

Section 1, Rule XII of the manual provides for the inmates’ rights “to adequate food, space, and ventilation, rest and recreation.”

The facility currently has around 2,800 inmates even if it regularly transfers insular prisoners to New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and to the regional prison camp in Abuyog, Leyte.

Last month, the jail resumed accepting up to 10 inmates a week from municipal police stations despite the lack of cells. However, only those who have commitment orders from the courts will be accommodated.

Legaspi said they are expecting again to reach the 3,000 mark before this month ends.

CPDRC had stopped accepting inmates August last year after its population ballooned to more than 3,000, exceeding its 1,500 capacity. In fact, each of the jail’s 119 cells is being occupied by 30 to 40 inmates, which exceeds the standard 12 to 18 capacity.

The manual has also specified the “authorized” disciplinary punishment imposable to inmates, including temporary or permanent cancellation of some or all recreational privileges; reprimanding; suspension or cancellation of visitation privileges; extra-fatigue duty/exercise for sentenced inmates; and close confinement in a cell that will not exceed seven days.

The solitary confinement in an isolation cell will only be imposed only in the case of an incorrigible prisoner when other disciplinary measures had been proven effective, as provided for under the manual.

Whenever the penalty of extra-fatigue duty or solitary confinement imposed may affect the health of the inmate, he shall be made to undergo medical examination to determine his physical fitness to serve his punishment.

No infirmed or handicapped inmate shall be meted out punishment, which might affect his health or physical well-being.

Board Member Shimura, who penned the ordinance, earlier assured that confinement in dark or inadequately ventilated cells and any form of “cruel, unusual, inhuman or degrading punishments” will be prohibited in the facility.

Aside from the said punishment, the jail’s Disciplinary Board may also recommend to the jail warden partial or full forfeiture of the inmate’s Good Conduct Time Allowance to be earned for that month and subsequent months depending upon the gravity of the offense. (FREEMAN)

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