CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna: Thirty inmates died in various lock-up cells in the Calabarzon region from January to May from to high blood pressure and respiratory diseases because of overcrowding in the jails.
The region is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Records of Police Regional Office (PRO) Calabarzon showed that 20 of these inmates were from Cavite while 10 were from Laguna.
In addition, 556 inmates region-wide are sick: 377 from Cavite, 150 from Rizal, 23 from Laguna and three each from Batangas and Quezon.
Because of this, PRO Calabarzon Regional Director and Chief Supt. Ma-o Aplasca met with judges and fiscals recently to find a solution to overcrowding in the region’s jails.
Records also show that there are 4,958 drug users and pushers jailed in 240 lock-up cells whose total capacity is for 3,371 inmates only.
Aplasca appealed to the judges and fiscals to speed up issuance of commitment orders to decongest the jails.
The judges and fiscals said as much as they want to, they cannot just issue such orders as provincial jails are also crowded beyond capacity.
In an earlier statement, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Director Serafin Barreto said as of April, there are 135,052 inmates in 466 BJMP jails nationwide or a congestion rate of 558 percent.
In Biñan City Jail in Laguna, there are 602 inmates in lock-up cells that have a holding capacity of only 22 or a congestion rate of 2,635 percent.
The same condition was noted in Cabuyao City Jail (Laguna) with 2,516 percent over capacity; Imus City Jail (Cavite) with 2,215 percent; and Santa Rosa City Jail (Laguna) with 2,212 percent.
Aplasca also appealed to the local government units particularly those from the chartered cities to appropriate funds for construction of additional lock- up jails.