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Their Multi-purpose Hall & Possible Tents


Yesterday—March 22, as to clarify prevailing questions for two days already, Barangay eMedia interviewed the present City Jail Warden of La Bella, during the morning primetime program of Comversa, Quosa Ba. Categorically—to correct any preceding news or confusion, the City Jail Warden said that his facility does still receive any incoming inmates. Such as opposite to what was earlier known, that the former refused then, due to the present population congestion, of the inmates in our City Jail.

There was even a news which said, should the former insist not to receive inmates, he might be cited for contempt. Such did even become a controversial issue, so that an emergency meeting was done by the concerned offices and agencies, with the City Mayor herself two days ago. Then, an agreement was forged, accordingly—with the help of the local courts and the City Prosecutors Office, to fast track the pending cases of those who are implicated with illegal drugs.

But the City Jail Warden categorically said that due to the over-population of his prison, they are compelled to improvise then, as to be able to entertain more incoming inmates. They will utilize their facility’s multi-purpose hall, and they alsomayhoist temporary tents, outside their open spaces, in the City Jail.

Although, the City Jail Warden strictly remarked that those who may be transferred to these said temporary shelters, are those who are already proven to be trust-worthy and do not have the character or tendency to escape. Thus, accordingly, a necessary and thorough screening shall be done then amongst the inmates, before they can transfer—such qualified inmates, to the freer shelters.

Imagine, our City Jail would have to succumb then to certain unconventional contingencies, just to be able to accommodate the flood of inmates, who do come by the throng every month! Apparently, these accused ones, who are presently causing the extreme congestions in the City Jail, are those who are implicated with the possession or sale of illegal drugs. And much now, because the Oplan ToHang was just recently restored back, and even re-strengthened by the PNP.

By statistics, related by the ZC Jail Warden that, the minimum number of entry of inmates, in their facility, is about 20 heads per month! Thus, it is now quite imperative for Zamboanga City to have its new City Jail, which should be bigger, and to be away from the civilian population—unlike to this present one, where the inmates can even easily hear the activities of their neighbors, outside the walls.

We heard within these three days that indeed there is already a budget, from the national government, to build the new and needed facility. Although our local government has its own counterpart as well—to produce the lot for the building. Last Monday, during the regular presscon at the City Hall, Mayor Beng pointed the issue of the zero budget of the supposed walls of this new City Jail.

When such was also asked by Barangay eMedia, to the City Jail Warden yesterday, the latter replied that from the millions of pesos budget, it already includes the said walls. Now, the worries of the general public is when thenis the actual date for the construction of this new City Jail? Time is of the essence! More and more drug pushers are apprehended every day, so that the old City Jail, eventually, may not be able to accommodate anymore future inmates.

The warden commented that up to the first quarter of next year, they still can improvise; but sure beyond such time is their real problem. Unless a new facility can be built, a definite crisis may loom next year, for the incoming inmates. Thus, this necessity should be given the first priority, by our leaders.

In fact, this particular issue is now the talk of the town, especially amongst the social media, to the extent of other folks are making fun of them already. Well, it is how Filipinos are. We always know how to find the lighter side of any problem. Albeit, different agencies are now helping each other to address this problem. We just hope then that a feasible solution can indeed be provided by our leaders, ASAP.

“Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set. Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” Prov. 22:26-29, ESV)

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