Chief Justice Gesmundo Highlights Commitment to Reform and Justice for Persons Deprived of Liberty, Bares Plan for National Jail Decongestion Summit
October 31, 2023
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, together with Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez visits Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) detained at the Female Dormitory on October 29, 2023 at the Pasay City Jail, Pasay City. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
In continued observance of this year’s 28th National Correctional Consciousness Week, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo visited Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at the Pasay City Jail, Pasay City.
During his visit, Chief Justice Gesmundo emphasized the importance of conducting jail visits to be able to determine the actual conditions of the PDLs and the detention facilities, in order to formulate policies that shall enhance jail management and ensure the humane safekeeping of PDLs.
Acknowledging the difficulties being faced by the PDLs, particularly the deficiency in facilities and space within the prisons, the Chief Justice also shared the Court’s plans to conduct a National Jail Decongestion Summit in coordination with the Justice Sector Coordinating Council. “Here, the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government shall collaborate to identify the root causes of prolonged detention in jails, which contribute to prison overcrowding. We aim to establish new policies and initiatives that shall expedite the processing of criminal cases and alleviate jail congestion.” the Chief Justice explained.
Chief Justice Gesmundo also assured the PDLs that the Supreme Court is spearheading many initiatives specifically meant to benefit PDLs, such as recommending lower bail amounts for indigent accused individuals and expediting the release of qualified PDLs. Trial courts were also given the directive to prioritize the disposition of criminal cases.
In closing, Chief Justice Gesmundo encouraged the PDLs to never lose hope, saying, “May it be freedom or justice that you await, do not lose hope, for the time will come when justice shall arrive, and freedom shall be yours.”
Accompanying the Chief Justice were Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez, Department of Justice Undersecretary Raul T. Vasquez, Pasay City Vice Mayor Waldetrudes S. Del Rosario, Assistant Court Administrator Maria Regina Adoracion Filomena M. Ignacio, Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief Technology Officer Atty. Jed Sherwin G. Uy, and Atty. Antonio Ceasar R. Manila from the Office of the Chief Justice.
The group was welcomed by Hon. Racquelen A. Vasquez, Executive Judge of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court and Atty. Danny Gapasin, Jr., Executive Director of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa (IBP-PPLM) Chapter.
JSupt. Marizen S. Sese, Jail Warden for the Female Dormitory, gave a brief overview of the current situation of detained female PDLs to Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo as Associate Justice Jose Midas P. Marquez listens during their visit on October 29, 2023 to the Pasay City Jail in Pasay City, in observance of this year’s 28th National Correctional Consciousness Week. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)
Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, address Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) during their visit on October 29, 2023 at the Pasay City Jail, Pasay City, in observance of this year’s 28th National Correctional Consciousness Week. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)