By Hannah Torregoza
Voting 21-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Monday afternoon a measure creating separate facilities for heinous crime convicts.
Senate Bill No. 1055 establishes separate “state-of-the-art” facilities for prisoners convicted of heinous crimes.
Once signed into law, three maximum penal institutions will be built in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, “preferably within a military establishment or on an island separate in the mainland.”
The facilities will be equipped with modern security measures such as surveillance cameras and extensive security features on locks, doors, and perimeters.
The bill also ensures that the facilities shall be maintained clean and habitable at all times and sanitary and hygienic comfort rooms shall be provided and maintained.
Under the measure, due regard will be given to prisoners with mental health issues. Likewise, prisoners shall have access to necessary health care services without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.
Under the bill, the facilities shall be constructed in secure and remote places that have minimal contact with civilian communities to ensure the safety of the prisoners as well as prison officials.
Among the crimes considered heinous under Republic Act No. 7659 are treason, parricide, murder, infanticide, robbery with violence, kidnapping, rape, and the importation, distribution, manufacturing, and possession of illegal drugs.