De Lima to Duterte: Address prison system in the country

By , on October 24, 2017


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the inmates during his visit to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on October 18, 2017. Also in the photo is Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (Photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the inmates during his visit to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on October 18, 2017. Also in the photo is Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. (Photo by King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

Senator Leila M. de Lima on Monday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration by criticizing the current situation of the detention facilities in the country.

De Lima lambasted Duterte and his ally Senator Richard Gordon for not giving priority to Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) No. 97 she filed last August 2016, seeking an inquiry into the current state of jails and penitentiaries all over the country.

Enero pa lang, nanawagan na po ako kay Senator Gordon na aksyunan na ang mga ito. Sa kasamaang palad, wala pa ring nangyayaring pagdinig ukol sa mga ito [Since January, I have been calling on Senator Gordon to address these issues. Unfortunately, there has been no hearing about these concerns],” De Lima said.

“As I said, if he is really serious in addressing the issues of our prison system, Duterte should, at the very least, take note of and call on Senator Gordon, as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, to finally act on the Resolutions I filed and accordingly conduct investigations in aid of legislation to come up with a comprehensive solution on how to decongest and improve conditions in jails and detention facilities all over the country,” De Lima added.

De Lima tagged Duterte’s recent visit to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) at Camp Bagong Diwa a “PR stunt.” In his visit to prison, the president promised installation of TV sets in each cell by the end of the month.

She recalled her days as Secretary of Department of Justice enumerating all the issues inside the Bilibid including jail congestion, inadequate facilities, lack of resources, and low staff morale— which she defined as “problems that make the prison a prime environment for illegal activities to thrive.”

“Under my term as Justice Secretary, we began to clean the Bilibid. I personally led the raids and destruction of the kubols of the high-profile inmates who lorded over the prison and masterminded unthinkable illegal transactions,” she said.

In the latter part of her message, De Lima reiterated that all charges filed against her are political persecution.

“I was imprisoned based on trumped-up charges, fabricated by Duterte and his cohorts. Despite their continuous political persecution, I will not be cowed. I will continue to have faith. I know that truth is on my side, and I am innocent,” she said.