Apr 7, 2014

Posted by

Giving Hope Behind Bars

LEADER OF ALL. Lilia Pineda stresses the need to respect human dignity to inmates of the Pampanga provincial jail during its recent inauguration. Pineda and the provincial board led by Vice. Gov. Dennis Pineda allotted some P50 million for the major improvement of the jail at Capitol’s compound in the City of San Fernando.   --Joey Pavia

LEADER OF ALL. Lilia Pineda stresses the need to respect human dignity to inmates of the Pampanga provincial jail during its recent inauguration. Pineda and the provincial board led by Vice. Gov. Dennis Pineda allotted some P50 million for the major improvement of the jail at Capitol’s compound in the City of San Fernando. –Joey Pavia

DSC_0020

DSC_0294

 

The Pineda government allotted at least P50 million for the major rehabilitation of the Pampanga provincial jail. Photos show the newly-improved main building of the jail and the fruitful activities of the inmates.

The Pineda government allotted at least P50 million for the major rehabilitation of the Pampanga provincial jail. Photos show the newly-improved main building of the jail and the fruitful activities of the inmates.

“YOU deserve to rot in jail.”
This is a common line in a movie or a television series. However, this award winning piece will never bring a trophy to an actor or to the director if the shooting will be done at the Pampanga Provincial Jail (PPJ).

Gone were the days when detainees’ morale and body literally rot at the provincial detention facility.

Gov. Lilia Pineda believes that everyone should be treated humanely whether they are accused or they had not done wrong in the past.
She personally looked at the situation of the inmates: the food they eat, the detention facility, and their health condition.

“Jails are not built to bring suffering and torture offenders. They are similar to hospitals that confine patients. Jails confine people to help control themselves from doing more crimes, to repent, and to restore their lives. We must not turn our backs on the accused people,” the governor said.

Food inside the jailhouse is now handled by the provincial malward. They are provided with nutritious raw foods and the detainees will do the cooking according to their choice.

Retired General Edwin Mangiliman, provincial warden, said the capitol conducted regular medical and dental mission inside PPJ that bring improvement to the health of the detainees.

“Back then, tuberculosis is very rampant inside the jail but, because of the concern of the Pineda administration many detainees were cured and this illness no longer exists inside the penal facility,” said Mangiliman.

After considering the health of the prisoners, the provincial government gave a much better environment to them. A surrounding that heals the body and the spirit, a place that restores their dignities, a facility that brings hope to those who repent and want to start a new life.

A P25-million dormitory-style jail extension was constructed to solve overcrowding that brings complications in the life inside the detention.
It has a covered court, basketball court, game area, comfort rooms and a garden they called “Garden of Hope”.

“The number of inmates is more than double of the capacity of the old jail. The new facility is 1,000 bed capacity where they can move comfortably,” the warden explained.

After a year, another P25-million was allotted for the improvement of the 107-year-old jailhouse. It was renovated and restored to its original design. It housed the administrative offices, a clinic and a prayer room, where regular non-denominational worship was conducted.
Mangiliman also narrated how these changes inside PPJ touched the lives of the detainees.
DSC_0158

DSC_0155

DSC_0081

Provincial Information Office (PIO) chief Joel Mapiles (standing, photo below) visits the inmates of the jail near his office. Other photos show the daily activities at the jail.

Provincial Information Office (PIO) chief Joel Mapiles (standing, photo below) visits the inmates of the jail near his office. Other photos show the daily activities at the jail.

DSC_0247
“Now, we can see a spark of hope in the eyes of the inmates. For them PPJ is a second home. They treat each other as a family. Unlike other jails, detainees here do not fight. They work together to improve their quarters. They join fellowship activities,” he said.

It was also learned that the provincial government is working on the review of the cases of the inmates for fast development.

“There is no special treatment to the inmates. The changes inside the jail is just a manifestation that our governor respects and gives value to human rights. PPJ is now more than a detention facility, it is much of a rehabilitation place for accused people,” the warden stated.
Lastly, Mangiliman said nobody should question the good development inside the PPJ because this is giving hope to the people behind bars for them not to become felonies in their whole lives.

“The bible said Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners” (Psalm 69:33), if the God Almighty embraces the sinners, we as ordinary people who do not have the authority should not condemn, persecute nor judge them,” he said.

• JENNA LUMBANG-PARUNGAO • PHOTOS BY JP MANALANG