Following the death of a Pasay detainee last week, the warden of the Quezon City Jail admitted that heat and congestion problems continue to bug the facility that currently houses thousands of inmates.
The city jail currently houses 3,524 inmates but has a capacity for only 800, according to Quezon City Jail Warden Supt. Emerlito Moral.
“Supposedly, the plan was to transfer detainees at the Bicutan Jail but we are still waiting for the proper process mandated by the local court. We plan to stop [accommodating]when we reach 4,000 [inmates],” Moral told The Manila Times.
He added the high congestion rate is one of the main causes of riots inside the cells.
“There is riot. The inmates are irritated, so they have to go out of their cells from time to time and get some fresh air,” Moral said.
Citing the occupancy rate set by the United Nations (UN) Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, Moral said that a minimum of four square meters is recommended for each detainee.
However, around 500 inmates are currently staying in a 120- to 200-square meter cell that should accommodate only 66.
“When you base it on the UN standard, it is really a failure. We had to put up bunks to maximize space without harming the inmates,” he added.
In February, nine inmates from the Quezon City Jail and a policeman assigned there were wounded after a riot, which Moral earlier said was caused by “irritability” from the facility’s worsening condition.
Seven inmates of the Pasay City Jail were rushed to a hospital after fainting “due to intense heat and congestion” on Wednesday.
Among them was 30-year-old Domingo delos Santos who was declared dead on arrival.