Labella forms group to decongest Cebu City Jail
Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - October 15, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has created a Cebu City Jail Decongestion Committee that will look at ways to free up some prisoner on recognizance.

The mayor said that the issue on decongestion in the City jail which has worsened over the years should already be addressed.  The dormitories are over populated, he said. The female dormitory which should only have 900 inmates is now home to over 2,000 females. While the male dormitory has over 5,000 inmates.

Mayor Labella has asked City Legal to look into the Recognizance Law or Republic Act 10389 that mandates the Sangguniang Panlungsod, with the approval of the mayor, to file a motion to the court for recognizance on certain probational cases or probational crimes.

The decongestion committee will include City Attorney Rey Gaelon as chairman, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) President Regal Oliva as member, while Attorney Jerome Castillo and Attorney June Maratas are tasked to file the motion of the Cebu City Decongestion Committee immediately with the courts.

“To realize the program, (it) will require conduct of inventory of cases qualified for recognizance which would involve training of paralegals and engagement of lawyers in partnership with the court, and other stakeholders,” Gealon said.

Labella also mentioned that during his term as a vice mayor, he also had a decongestion project wherein educated inmates were trained to evaluate their fellow inmates. And they were able to reduce it by 50 percent.

“It’s not like an acquittal but it is something like giving them the chance to be outside but at the same time, report to the probation officer. They are still under the constructive jurisdiction of the jail authorities and the judges,” Labella said.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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