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NCRPO: 26 inmates die in overcrowded jails

Twenty-six inmates died while other prisoners are suffering from different types of illness due to the worsening condition of police detentions in Metro Manila amid the government’s war on drugs, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde bared yesterday.

“So far, sa jails na pinuntahan namin talagang overcrowded lahat dito sa buong Metro Manila. Nakita naman natin na ’yung mga kababayan natin na nakakulong, nakaupo nalang kung matulog,” Albayalde said after he inspected the Manila Police District (MPD) Integrated Jail in Ermita, Manila, yesterday morning.

The NCRPO chief said 26 inmates had died inside detention facilities in Metro Manila since the government launched the drug war.

“Yes, bunga iyan mula nung nag-launch tayo ng war on drugs nung July. Hindi lang nagdoble-doble ang nakakulong,” he said.

The inmates allegedly suffered from diabetes, gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, stomach flu and heart ailment.

According to Albayalde, there are already 20,208 individuals in Metro Manila who were arrested in the span of seven months.

He said around 97 to 98 people are being arrested each day in the metropolis.

“Mapupuno at mapupuno talaga ang jails natin,” he said.

The MPD Integrated Jail, meanwhile, can only accommodate up to 595 people but it has now 725 detainees.

Albayalde said they will coordinate with various courts to speed up the transfer of the inmates to the regular city jails. “Hindi naman natin sila masisisi dahil sa sobrang daming kaso na hinahawakan nila,” he said.

Albayalde said that they will also work with Local Government Units (LGUs) and other government departments to solve the jail congestion in Metro Manila police posts.

“Kailangan namin talagang magtulong-tulong dito. Kung pondo lang ng PNP (Philippine National Police) ang aasahan po natin, medyo mahihirapan tayo. Kasi ‘yung pondo ng PNP, once na release ‘yan, naka-program na po iyon, and most probably ang kasama lang naman doon ay pag-construct ng bagong police station not to construct additional jail facilities,” said Albayalde.

The NCRPO chief conducted the inspection days after an alleged secret jail was discovered in Raxabago-Tondo Police Station, prompting him to relieve 13 police officers. (ANALOU DE VERA)