PBBM: Release PDLs qualified for parole to decongest jails

Inmates sleep in an open basketball court inside the Quezon City jail in this 19 July 2016 photo. The jail facility which was built six decades ago for 800 prisoners housed 3,800. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wants more persons deprived of liberty to be released to expedite the decongestion of jail facilities, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

The Presidential Communications Office disclosed that Marcos made the instruction during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang Palace with officials of the Department of Justice.

The President, recalling his experience as Ilocos Norte governor from 1998 to 2007, instructed the DoJ to release PDLs who are qualified for parole, saying that most of them are languishing in jail because they could not afford the services of good lawyers.

“They don’t have good lawyers. So that’s why we are in favor now to release many of them,” Marcos said during the Cabinet meeting, according to the PCO.

“They just needed representation to set them free. So let’s continue with that.”

According to its 2022 accomplishment report, the DoJ released almost 3,000 PDLs from July to December 2022. The department also fast-tracked the processing of the release of qualified prisoners by digitalizing the systems of the Probation and Parole Administration.

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