‘Compassionate justice’

December 2, 2022 People's Tonight 451 views

PRESIDENT Marcos has directed concerned authorities to come up with a policy of “compassionate justice,” according to Bureau of Prisons (BUCOR) officer-in-charge Gregorio Pio Catapang.

In line with this, Catapang said three government agencies are working overtime to fast-track the release of around 700 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) before the end of the year.

These are the BUCOR, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Board of Pardon and Parole.

It will be recalled that last October 10, PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta said that the agency will be at the forefront of efforts by the Marcos government in fostering a “compassionate society.”

The Marcos administration, she said, reaches out with compassion to the country’s PDLs.

“Hence, I am hopeful that before the year 2022 ends, many of them (PDLs) will be freed and will be prepared for rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Acosta, a bar topnotcher.

Catapang, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said elderly PDLs will be prioritized for release based on the directive issued by Justice Secretary Jesus “Boying” Remulla.

“At may batas naman po tayo na (nagsasabing) kapag 70-year old ka, puede kang mag-apply for parole or (executive) clemency,” said the retired military general. We agree with Catapang that the overpopulated national bilibid prison is no longer fit for frail and elderly PDLs. “When you visit them in their prison cells, their situation is pitiful,” he added

Like other well-meaning Filipinos, we support the release of more sickly and elderly PDLs in line with the current administration’s “compassionate justice” policy.