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Ordinance violators are not considered as criminals — Anduyan

August 31, 2018

Local ordinance violators should be given community services instead of being jailed amid mounting concerns around prison overcrowding in Manila, a top cop official said on Thursday.

Manila Police District Director Chief Supt. Rolando Anduyan admitted congestion in Manila City Jail as inmates coming in outnumber those who are being released due to intensified anti-crime operations.

At least 300 individuals were arrested everyday for violating laws and city ordinances in Manila, he claimed.

“We cannot mixed the city ordinance violators from criminals. Ordinance violators are not considered as criminals,” Anduyan said.

Anduyan recommended an alternative to imprisonment such as rendering community services of the arrested suspects for light offenses such as drinking in public places, roaming the streets half-naked and smoking ban.

Instead of being jailed, the violator will be involved in doing community services such clean up activities, he said.

If approved, Anduyan believed that the proposal would have a great contribution in the cleanliness of the community.

Jail Senior Inspector Jayrex Buestinera, jail spokesperson told the Manila Bulletin that they welcome the said initiative as it will greatly contribute to the decongestion of Manila City Jail.

“We currently house more than 6,000 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL). Around 10% of the PDL are in jail because of light offenses including city ordinances. If there will be an alternative to imprisonment for violation of city ordinances, we can expect an estimated 10% reduction in our current jail population,” Buestinera said.

BJMP spokesman Senior Inspector Xavier Solda said Manila City Jail is the most congested jail with a 601.91 percent congestion rate.

Solda explained that ideally, the Manila City Jail could only accommodate 800 inmates but there are about 5,400 to 5,600 inmates in the city jail.

It can also be recalled that at least 55 detainees have died in Manila City Jail since the administration launched an intensified campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes.

Meanwhile, Anduyan will lead the presentation of the said proposal to the Manila City Council next week.

On April 15, Senator Loren Legarda, chairwoman of the Senate finance said that Congress has set aside billions of pesos in the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to address the perennial problem of jail congestion.

Source: Manila Bulletin