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Peoples Tonight Online


By: Bernie Ang

The Manila City Jail located in Sta. Cruz, Manila has long been infamous for being one of the most severely-crowded detention centers not only in the country but in the world/ The subhuman conditions facing the inmates on a day-to-day basis has also gained notoriety.

Designed to house only 1,100 inmates, the facility sitting on a national government lot measuring about 3,000 to 4,000 square meters is now filled to the brim with at least 4,000 inmates and counting. The condition is such that the inmates are not able to sleep comfortably. Parang sardinas, ika nga.

For some reason, over the years, squatters have occupied half of the total area that is supposed to be allotted for the convenience of the prisoners, until it came to a point where the national government has initiated moves to just offer the lot for sale to the city government of Manila owing to the problem of squatters. I repeat. The lot is owned by the national government and was offered for sale to the local government of Manila.

Under our study, we may be able to transfer the MCJ to a bigger space in Boso-Boso, Antipolo, where Manila has a lot measuring about 1.2 hectares that went to Nawasa. So far, the city has already successfully recovered 200 hectares of the said property.

With more space at hand, the city government is planning to put up a livelihood, health,recreational and educational centers where the inmates will be able to while their time productively and grow as persons even during incarceration.

In order to rehabilitate the prisoners more effectively, their living conditions must also be humane instead of being utterly debasing. Just like all of us, inmates are also humans and must be treated as such.

With nothing but the overall welfare of the inmates top on our minds, the Manila city government is mulling the idea of transferring the MCJ to Boso-Boso where the basic needs of being able to sleep comfortably and provided with centers that will provide not only recreational activities but moreso opportunities to develop skills and earn while in jail may be possible.

Now, I heard that black propagandists who have not moved on from their electoral defeat are once again spreading lies, claiming that the local government is planning to sell the MCJ lot to a private entity. How can the city government sell something which it does not own in the first place?

As I have previously stated, the said lot where the MCJ currently sits is owned not by the city, but by the national government.

These peddlers of lies also claim that the inmates’ families are against the MCJ transfer. Unknown to them, the city talked to some families and they were profusely thankful that their detained loved ones’ living conditions will finally be improved. The single LRT ride to visit their loved ones is nothing compared to the better life that awaits the inmates in their new home, should plans finally push through.

Being humane is something that our political detractors will never understand, because all they care about is advancing their selfish motives and selling lies that do not even create a dent on how the residents of Manila feel and enjoy all the benefits that they get from the city government.

The problem with these said black propagandists is that they are downright brainless. They do not even bother to check their facts which is why all their lies boomerang right on their faces.

If they are not plain stupid, I bet they are on drugs.


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