By Anthony Giron
IMUS CITY, Cavite – A new Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility building, which can accommodate hundreds of inmates, was inaugurated by officials on Monday, April 22, in a simple ceremony at the Cavite Civic Center in Barangay Palico IV in this historical capital city.
The much-needed jail building for male detainees was inaugurated by Jail/Chief Superintendent Allan Sullano Quiral, BJMP officer-in-charge; J/C/Supt. Efren Altamira Nemeño, BJMP-Calabarzon chief; and J/Chief Inspector Marlon Ymballa, BJMP-Imus warden and Imus Mayor Emmanuel Leonardo Maliksi, Councilor Raymond S. Arguelles and other officials.
The BJMP jail facilities, deemed as one of the most modern in the country, stands on a 1,920-square meter lot at the Civic Center area, also called Land Transportation Office (LTO) compound.
Imus City Engineer Christian Sarno said that the jails at the five-story building can accommodate between 800 and 900 inmates and even more.
The jail building, built at a cost of P32-million, will also house some offices and quarters of jail officers and personnel. It was the national government that funded the construction of the facility.
City officials welcomed the operation of the new jail facility as it will help decongest the old and overcrowded local police main custodial facility located near the city hall plaza.
Overcrowding of detainees in cells has been a problem in Imus for years. The less than 100-square meter city jail has about 120 detainees which area can accommodate only between 40 and 60 detainees.
Authorities said that at least four sickly detainees have already died at the small jail facility in the last six months due to heat exhaustion and lack of space, among others. Those who died after experiencing breathing difficulty and body pains have pending drug cases.
The detainees, charged mostly for illegal drugs and other crimes, await court hearing/ trial and case promulgation. They have not been convicted yet of their cases.
Detainee overcrowding has also been a problem in other city and municipal police jails in Cavite province, notably Bacoor, Dasmarinas, and General Trias.