SC initiates moves to decongest jails during pandemic

SC initiates moves to decongest jails during pandemic

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court released over 80,000 persons deprived of liberty or PDL since March 16, in an effort to decongest jails as the country fights a pandemic.

At a virtual press conference on Friday, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said from March 17 to October 16, a total of 81,888 PDLs have been released.

Of the 81,888, a total of 46,032 have been released through videoconference, 880 children in conflict with the law also through video conferencing.

The Chief Justice said 19,173 were released on bail or recognizance, 2,980 were released after serving minimum imposable penalty while 8,669 were released on probation or fine.

The high court has intensified its videoconferencing to protect court officials, staff and litigants from the threat of coronavirus disease. From May 4 to October 16, it has conducted a total of 110,369 hearings.

Peralta added that 4,575 were released after their cases were dismissed, 1,556 have been acquitted, 3,904 have served their minimum penalty while 5,175 have served their maximum penalty.