Press Release
October 13, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 625:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Sunday Sharing


Each society should be judged by the value it puts on human dignity and human conscience.

Failing on this score is to brutalize the human spirit and humanity.

Our treatment, for example, of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), those confined in severely congested and decrepit national prisons and city jails, warrants serious reflection.

Tough-sounding measures, like deployment of SAF and AFP forces to NBP, occasional demolition of kubols and rounding up of inmates, BUT without suitable and long-overdue physical infrastructures and other long-term structural and institutional reforms to address the complex needs and problems of the correctional sector, simply won't work.

Let's not just think of the incorrigible, notorious and seemingly non-reformable high-profile and high-risk PDLs like the drug lords, and because of them, be swayed by deep-seated prejudices against the inmate population in general.

Let us think about, and feel for the majority of the ordinary PDLs who, if provided with the right environment, are reformable and do reform. There are shining examples of ex-PDLs--deserving grantees of GCTA, commutation of sentence, pardon and parole and simply expiry of prison terms, who are earnest in their present lives of freedom and redemption.

Think also of innocent PDLs--those unjustly detained awaiting judgment and those wrongfully convicted, themselves victims of injustice, casualties of our flawed justice system.

I am one of these innocent and suffering PDLs.

A wholesale condemnation and maltreatment of PDLs is a condemnation of humanity.

Let's not dehumanize our PDLs. Let us be true Christians.

Have an enlightened Sunday! ###

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 625 here:

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