17, 2013

NR # 3320

Solon: Sell New Bilibid Prison to acquire new prison facilities fit for agriculture activities
A lawmaker is seeking the sale of the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City so that its proceeds will be used to acquire four new prison facilities to be located in Luzon !isayas Mindanao and the National Capital "egion #NC"$ which are capable of handling agriculture%based acti&ities to help reform prisoners' "ep' Aleta (uarez #)rd *istrict +uezon$ said her proposal aims to put a reformati&e instead of a puniti&e policy regarding the country,s facilities' (he said the four new prison locations must be capable of handling agricultural acti&ities so that prisoners will be trained in farming and animal husbandry which will renew them and impro&e their lot' -.he present situation of our penal facilities is a throwback to the /0 th century that treated prisoners as animals unfit to renew themsel&es and re1oin society' 2t is also a contra&ention of our treaty obligations such as the 2nternational Co&enant on Ci&il and Political "ights #3N 2CCP"$ and the 3nited Nations Con&ention Against .orture and 4ther Cruel 2nhuman or *egrading .reatment or Punishment #3NCA.$ 5 said (uarez' (he said her 6ouse Bill ))7 or the proposed -"eform of Penal Centers Act5 complements Article 22 (ection ll of the Constitution which pro&ides -.he (tate &alues the dignity of e&ery human person and guarantees full respect for human rights'5 .he proposal is also in line with Article 8 of the 3ni&ersal *eclaration of 6uman "ights which pro&ides that -no one shall be sub1ected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment5 according to (uarez' -According to the Balay 9oundation e:treme o&ercrowding is the most punishing of doing time in the country,s 1ails' At the Manila City ;ail and other prisons in the National Capital "egion inmates ha&e to take turns sleeping on the floor' 6erding indi&iduals in cramped spaces is cruel inhuman ill degrading and un1ust punishment' 4&ercrowding is dangerous to health and to human life' 2t breeds diseases breaks down discipline and e:acerbates tension' Add dirty tap water dingy toilets substandard meals gang war poorly trained guards and prison administrators fa&oritism and you ha&e a system built for punishment not rehabilitation 5 said (uarez' 6ouse Bill ))7 pro&ides the (tate shall enact a Policy of "eformation in all prison facilities in the country' 2t mandates the *epartment of ;ustice through the Bureau of Corrections to sell the facilities and properties of the New Bilibid Prison located in Muntinlupa City to the highest possible bidder' .he proceeds from the sale of the New Bilibid Prison shall e:clusi&ely be used for the purchase of new penal colony facilities to be located one each in Luzon !isayas Mindanao and the NC"' .hese properties must be capable of handling agriculture%based acti&ities such that prisoners will be trained in farming and animal husbandry the bill pro&ides' #)<$ rbb