Labella to bring back decongestion project
CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has promised to support the decongestion project for the Cebu City Jail (CCJ) in Barangay Kalunasan.
The mayor admitted that the congestion problem in the city jail has worsened over the last three years.
“Kining atong male dormitory maka-accommodate only supposedly 980 or a little less than 1,000. Naabot na man sila’g 5,000 dinha,” said Labella.
“This is something that we should address,” he added.
When he was still councilor and vice mayor, Labella said he was part of the operation to decongest the facility. He said the project was successful.
“Karon nga na-mayor na ta, way reason nga dili nato ibalik,” said Labella.
He explained that decongestion can happen through a speedy trial or speedy disposition of the inmates’ cases. According to him, there are many inmates in the city jail who are qualified to enter a “plea bargaining” agreement.
The mayor, who is also a lawyer, said once the mitigating circumstances are considered, these inmates can avail of probation.
“It’s not like an acquittal but it is something like giving them the chance to be outside but at the same time, report to the probation officer. They are still under the constructive jurisdiction of the jail authorities and the judges,” Labella explained.
Labella also stated that an inmate can undergo such probation once the lawyer presents a court order.
During his term as a vice mayor, he also had a decongestion project wherein educated inmates were trained to evaluate their fellow inmates.
“It was proven to be very productive because we were able to decongest by about 50 percent,” said Labella.
Labella also vowed to address the jail’s problem on water supply. He said that “lack of water and no water at all would be a cause for the spread of diseases.”
“There are many other things to be done,” said Labella.
He assured that the city government will support the infrastructure programs for the CCJ.
He said that he will wait for the outcome of the decongestion project and will have it evaluated; if there are matters that need the city government’s assistance, they will help.
Labella asked the jail warden to submit a “wish list.”
This is for him to know how to improve the conditions of the jails and the inmates.
“Because we always adhere to the principle that our jails, our penal system, should be reformatory, corrective, remedial, so that they (inmates) can still have a place in mainstream society once they have served their sentence,” said Labella. (FREEMAN)