DOJ eyes 3 prison sites for heinous crime convicts

Published August 9, 2022, 12:25 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ C. Remulla

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is eyeing its three prison facilities in Occidental Mindoro, Leyte and Zamboanga City where heinous crime convicts could be detained separately.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said the three prison sites would be in line with the reconciled Senate Bill No. 1055 and House of Representatives Bill No. 10355 which lapsed into law last July 30.

“Yes. I am aware,” Remulla said on Tuesday morning, Aug. 9, about the law that mandates the creation of separate prison facilities for inmates convicted of heinous crimes.

The new law mandates the government to set up “secure, clean and adequately equipped and sanitary” penitentiary in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for “high-level offenders” or those convicted of heinous crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment.

It also mandates the DOJ to determine the suitable location of the facilities which is preferred to be “within a military establishment or on an island.”

Among the heinous crimes in the Philippines are treason, parricide, murder, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence, destructive arson, and plunder.

Remulla said he has been eyeing the reservation of the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm (SPPF) in Occidental Mindoro as one of the sites.

He said that even before the bills lapsed into law, he had the plan to transfer the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) from the maximum-security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to SPPF.

“We will build facilities at Sablayan, Mindoro Island,” he said as he pointed out that SPPF reservation occupies a large tract of land of about 8,000 hectares.

Aside from SPPF, Remulla said the DOJ is also eyeing the setting of facilities in Leyte and Zamboanga. “We have land in Leyte and Zamboanga, which are possible future sites,” he said.

In Leyte, the DOJ has the Leyte Regional Prison (LRP) in Abuyog town, while San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm (SRPPF) is located in Zamboanga City.

Aside from NBP, SPPF, LRP and SRPPF, the DOJ – through the Bureau of Corrections – has three other prison facilities in the country: Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, and the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (DPPF) in Braulio E. Dujali in Davao del Norte.