By Anthony Giron
IMUS, Cavite — The police in this historical capital city has opened an additional custodial facility which can accommodate at least 120 inmates.
The reconstructed facility located at the upper floor of its building was opened to lessen the inmates at the overcrowded 60-square meter old jail on the first floor.
The local government and police were prompted to reconstruct another facility due to the discomfort and ills at the old jail that was filled with inmates.
Reports said that at least four sickly inmates have already died late last year alone due to lack of ventilation and space at the old jail.
The Manila Bulletin and other newspapers have earlier reported the condition of jails in the city and elsewhere in the province.
The Imus City Council took cognizance of the reports and acted on them.
The facility was opened last Thursday by Mayor Emmanuel Leonardo Maliksi, Superintendent Jose Junar P. Alamo, city police officer-in-charge; and Engineer Christian Mervin Sarno after the site blessing.
Sarno said that the third floor area of the police station was reconstructed, costing P1.5 million, for the accommodation of between 120-130 inmates. The floor area was occupied before by the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office before its transfer to a new government building in Barangay Bucandala.
The small, tight, jail had about 140 inmates before the new one opened.
The city government had addressed the jail congestion with the additional detention facility, Sarno said.
The police jail facility was opened a month after the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) had inaugurated, also in Imus, a new provincial building with detention facilities for inmates.
Jail congestion is also a problem in Dasmarinas, Bacoor, and General Trias and some other cities and municipalities in the province.
Most of those detained have pending drug cases in courts.
Reports said that over 50 inmates have already died in the last ten months alone and that scores of other sickly inmates, mostly with respiratory and skin diseases, continue to languish in the overcrowded jails.