THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) confirmed on Thursday the resumption of operations to arrest erroneously freed convicts of heinous crimes.
“So, nagsimula na po ang manhunt (The manhunt has started), the list was given to us last Monday [and] manhunt began on Tuesday,” DILG spokesman Jonathan Malaya said.
Malaya clarified that 19 convicts were spread across the country and not only in Metro Manila.
DILG has no timeline to arrest the released convicts but the DILG ordered the tracker team to arrest them “as soon as possible.”
Malaya stressed the order of President Rodrigo Duterte was not shoot-to-kill, but police would respond accordingly if under threat.
Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Tolentino has called on the government to look into the possibility of allowing private corporations to build and operate proposed new prison facilities as part of ongoing efforts to reform the country’s penal system.
Tolentino floated the idea to privatize prisons in the country during his interpellation on Senate Bill 1055 or the proposed bill seeking to establish a separate prison for heinous crime convicts.The senator raised the idea that state prisons may be opened for privatization to address anticipated inadequacy of public funds to operate a penal facility akin to the standards of prisons in other countries.
“Privatization of prisons will pave the way for establishing a penitentiary that will enable us to accomplish the goal of Senate Bill 1055, which is, to ensure public safety, as well as the safety of inmates, by isolating the most violent and vicious offenders inside a highly secured and detached facility,” Tolentino said.
According to Tolentino, this is a practical idea as the country’s total prison population is not as high compared to developed countries like the United States and countries in Southeast Asia.
But Tolentino clarified that he is only open to privatizing prison facilities to house convicts of non-heinous crimes.
WITH REPORTS FROM JAVIER JOE I SMAEL AND BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO