Gwen Garcia says ‘go ahead’ to turn over CPDRC to BJMP
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Governor Gwendolyn Garcia made a complete turn around on her position to transfer the management of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
“If they want, yeah, go ahead. It’s one less headache for me actually,” Garcia said commenting to a proposed bill of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa which seeks to integrate provincial jails to the BJMP.
Aside from dela Rosa, Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon also filed a similar bill for the integration of the jails under the BJMP.
The measures got the support of the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) since it would standardize the protocols in managing jails.
In an Inquirer.net report last September, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said some LGUs have inadequate jail facilities which could lead to more incidents of inmate escaping the facilities.
While the BJMP is mandated to manage the city, district and municipal jails, provincial jails ,such as the CPDRC, are under the management of the provincial governments pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987.
Seven years ago, or in 2012, Garcia opposed the suggestion of former DILG secretary Jessie Robredo for local government units to turnover the management of provincial jails to the BJMP.
Garcia, at that time, took pride in the Capitol’s management of the CPDRC which was globally famed for its dancing inmates.
In earlier interviews after she was elected as governor in July 2019, Garcia said CPDRC is one of her most pressing problems because of the woes on the heavily congested penitentiary.
The CPDRC was built to accommodate 1,500 individuals but it currently houses 2,040 inmates.
In August 2018, CPDRC Warden Reynaldo Valmoria implemented a moratorium in accepting inmates when the jail’s population reached over 3,900.
The number significantly reduced as majority of the inmates were embroiled in drug-related cases.
Those inmates availed of the plea bargaining agreement (PBA) and were released before the end of 2018 and in early to mid-2019. There are still ongoing PBAs as of this posting.
The situation in CPDRC also reflects those of the city and district jails in Cebu which are also mostly congested since they cannot forward their inmates to CPDRC.
Garcia said the Capitol cannot help the city jails unless they settle the problem with CPDRC first.
“It is a common malady for all jails. We cannot solve one problem by adding to another,” Garcia said.
“I know nga moingon sila nga ipadala diri sa CPDRC aron ma-decongest sila, pero ang CPDRC congested na man sad,” she added.
(I know they will say that their inmates be forwarded to the CPDRC because they are already congested but the CPDRC is also congested.)
The Capitol has since tapped the help of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu Chapter and the Cebu Lady Lawyers (Cella) to assist for the speedy disposition of the cases of the inmates incarcerated at the CPDRC.
Majority of the cases are drug-related. / celr
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