By LIZA JOCSON
The Zamboanga City Reformatory Center is preparing to use tents and its multipurpose hall to accommodate hundreds of detainees expected to stream into the jail facility within the year.
This as the city government of Zamboanga together with concerned government agencies agreed to allow the entry and accommodation of detainees into the overcrowded Zamboanga City Reformatory Center.
The decision was arrived at during an emergency meeting held last Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.
Among agencies and officials who participated in the meeting are the Zamboanga city goverment, the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center, the Office of the City Prosecutor, Executive Judge Gregorio dela Peña, the Public Attorney’s Office, and the Zamboanga City Police Office.
The agenda of the meeting was the Temporary Suspension of Commitment Order and the Procurement of Donated Lot for the new jail facility.
Based on a statement issued by the Zamboanga City Reformatory Cener (ZCRC,) participants in the meeting reportedly agreed to continue using the present jail facility but will implement measures to reduce jail congestion.
“Executive Judge dela Peña, Public Attorney’s Office, the City Prosecutor and BJMP will exhaust all efforts to fast track court trials and other paralegal means to decongest jail,” the ZCRC statement said.
For its part, the city government will fast track negotiations to purchase a lot where the new jail facility will be constructed.
Meanwhile, “The Executive Judge and Zamboanga City Jail will continue to accept inmates by using the Multi-Purpose Hall and other space available. The City Government will provide tent and other necessities for the incoming inmates,” the statement said.
At present, inmates were reported to be sleeping in the lobby and near comfort rooms due to the congested state of jail cells at the ZCRC.
This amid threats posed by the presence of about 50 Abu Sayyaf inmates who had become the subject of a rescue attempt in January 2015.
The statement also expressed calls for all agencies to help one another in solving the present jail situation pending the procurement of a lot for the construction of a new jail facility.
The statement ended with “God Bless Zamboanga City Jail.” (Liza Jocson)