Prisons face more overcrowding amid drug war

By , on March 31, 2017

Photo: Raj Anand Sharma/
Photo: Raj Anand Sharma/

According to Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Chief Superintendent Allan Iral, there are around 25,000 inmates added since July following the arrest of 53,025 suspected drug pushers. The BJMP is also facing the problem of locating 1.2 million others who had surrendered in the anti-drug campaign and also 40,000 inmates and 50,000 others confined in facilities under the Bureau of Corrections.

The number is expected to increase in the advent of the Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded. As of the moment, 80 percent of inmates in urbanized cities are charged with cases related to illegal drugs while 20 percent are charged with murder, rape, homicide, robbery and other petty crimes.

Early reports had indicated that overcrowding has been a long-standing problem in prisons in the Philippines. In a highly urbanized city like Quezon City, the  jail was initially a building designed to hold  only 800 inmates, but is currently housing 3,000.

Binan City Jail in Laguna only has a supposed capacity of 22 but is currently housing 602 inmates, making it one of the most overcrowded detention facilities in the country.

International communities had already expressed concerns over these current inmate conditions, saying that it is a neglect of human rights which had been part of the ongoing criticism of the President’s campaign against drugs.