(Eagle News) – At least 371 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) have been released as of Tuesday, September 13, 2022, according to the Department of Justice which vowed more releases in the coming months.
The DOJ said that the 371 PDLs were released after the computation of time served in prison by the DOJ and the Bureau of Correction with the help of the lawyers of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).
Majority or 240 of the released PDLs have already served their maximum sentence, while 98 are already qualified for parole; 31 have been acquitted while two others have qualified for probation.
Thirty-seven of the released PDLs were from the Correctional Institute for Women, including four who were already senior citizens. At least 191 PDLs were from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), and another 143 PDLs were from other prison and penal facilities run by the Bucor.
The DOJ said that there were 45 senior citizens from among the released PDLs.
-360 more names of PDLs submitted for clemency-
It also announced that 360 more names of PDLs have been submitted to Malacanang for the grant of clemency.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla had earlier vowed to decongest prisons and to digitalize prison records.
“We expect to be decongesting the jails more,” he said explaining that they are closely coordinating with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) towards getting more qualified PDLs to be released.
Remulla said there would be more PDLs to be released in the coming months. There would be PDL batches to be released in October, November and December.
PAO chief Persida Acosta confirmed this, saying that the release of qualified PDLs would be regularly and continuously done.
“So tuluy-tuloy po ang pagpapalaya monthly. Meron po tayo next month, sa November at sa December,” she said.
-3,000 inmates targeted for release-
The PAO chief said that they are also targeting to work on the release of 3,000 inmates in all.
“So may target tayong 3,000 pang inmates dito. Tuluy-tuloy po yan,” she told reporters.
Acosta also said that PAO would visit and check on jails nationwide so that those who are already qualified for release would be processed for release.
“Gagalugarin natin lahat ng jails kung may natitira pang dapat nang lumaya. Kailangan talagang i-monitor. Kapag tapos na ang sentensya , dapat nang lumabas,” she said.
DOJ chief Remulla is also working to digitalize the records of prisoners and inmates to make it easier to check who would be qualified for release.
BuCor director Undersecretary Gerald Bantag made an appeal to the PDLs released to make sure that they wouldn’t return to prison.
“Sa mga PDL natin na kababayan na nakapa-serve na rin ng sentence, sana huwag na tayong magkita pang muli,” he said during his speech.
The first release of the qualified PDLs was done in time for the 65th birthday of Philippine president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
(Eagle News Service)