Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra: Separate Prison For Heinous Crime Convicts ‘Game Changer’

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra described the proposal of two senators to have a separate facility for those convicted of heinous crimes as a “game changer” noting that this would help authorities institute reforms in the country’s prison systems.

“Isang malaking turning point ang paglilipat niyang present penitentiary natin, national penitentiary to a new place (The transfer of heinous crimes convicts to a new place is a big turning point),” Guevarra said in an interview.

“Kasi iyon ang magbibigay-daan sa mga malalaking reporma na pupuwede nating gawin eh (Because that is going to pave the way for bigger reforms that we can do),” he added.

Guevarra said with a new facility for heinous crime convicts, authorities would be able to put in place stronger “safeguards” compared to those in the “constrained” New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“Kung sakali na lumagay tayo sa isang lugar na mas maluwang, mas secure, na pupuwede nating ihiwalay talaga iyong mga hardened criminals doon sa mga hindi naman talaga mabibigat ang kaso, malagyan ng mga necessary facilities para ma-monitor kung mayroong mga kalokohang na nangyayari (If we can place them in a place that is more spacious, more secure, where we can separate hardened criminals from those with lighter cases, we can have facilities to monitor whether there are anomalies happening inside) like illegal drug trading and so forth and so on,” Guevarra said.

“Parang game changer in my opinion kung sakaling matuloy ang paglilipat ng ating national penitentiary to a new place para lahat ng reporma na gusto nating gawin ay maisakatuparan natin sa isang bagong lugar (In my opinion, it’s a game changer if our national penitentiary is transferred to a new place so that all reforms can be implemented in this new place),” he added.

Earlier, Senators Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri filed separate bills meant to create a separate facility for heinous crime convicts to isolate them and prevent them from committing more crimes.

Gordon said the maximum penal institution should be located in Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija which is the largest military reservation in the country.

He is also pushing for the digitization of criminal records.

Gordon’s proposed Senate Bill 983 will ensure “control” of criminals to give the public a sense of security.

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also filed Senate Bill 1004 noting how well-off prisoners continue to “live a luxurious life within the confines of our prison system.”

Zubiri said the botched release of convicted rapist-murderer, former Calauan mayor Antonio Sanchez, has opened eyes to corrupt practices in the country’s prison systems. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/pcoogov

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