PARTIDO Reporma standard bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and his running mate Vicente “Tito” Sotto have floated an idea to regionalize the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) or build an island prison if the government really wanted that convicted prisoners truly change to a better person while serving sentences.
According to the party’s one-two punch, devolving the national penitentiary into regional hubs would make convicted prisoners especially the drug lords and syndicate leaders nearer to their respective families which somehow help them mend their ways.
“Ang isang proposal namin—at kaming dalawa talagang itinutulak namin ito—gagawin na nating regional ang National Bilibid Prisons. Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao muna,” Sotto said during their recent press conference in San Rafael, Bulacan, Saturday.
The Senate president cited studies that a person deprived of liberty (PDL) does crazy things when he is not visited by his family.
Observations shared by several jail officers said that boredom or the thought of being neglected and forgotten for good by their loved ones have high possibilities for a jailbird to become violent or do crazy things.
Sotto said that when prisoners are separated from their families, the more it drives them into illicit activities like joining gangs while still in the correctional.
Aside from regionalizing the NBP, the Lacson-Sotto tandem is also proposing the creation of an island prison like the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in the United States.
“Alam mo, ‘yung pangitain na malalagay ka sa isang isla—parang Alcatraz—at habambuhay ka nagsisilbi doon, wala kang cellphone at wala kang mga amenities, mas matinding ano ‘yun… Mas matinding preventive action ng gobyerno kung ‘yun ang alam nilang kahihinatnan nila sa halip na nasa Muntinlupa,” Lacson noted for his part.
Instead of PDLs “enjoying” their time at the NBP where they have their own “kubol” (temporary shelter) and are living in comfort in Muntinlupa, an island penitentiary would be a better solution to cut off their connection to society, the former national police chief added.