De Lima bats for ‘medical parole’ for terminally-ill inmates

Ruth Abbey Gita

DETAINED Senator Leila De Lima has filed Senate Bill (SB) 2084, granting medical parole, or “compassionate parole,” to inmates qualified based on humanitarian or medical grounds.

De Lima said terminally-ill inmates should be granted medical parole to allow them to have better medical care outside the detention facilities.

She added that the parole would give sick inmates the opportunity to serve their sentence under their families’ care.

“The grant of medical parole presupposes that the conditional release of prisoner will not constitute a threat to the safety of the society,” De Lima, chairperson of Senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development, said.

“This bill is meant to allow prisoners to serve out their sentence under the care of their families or seek better medical care outside the correctional facilities,” she added.

Under SB 2084, medical parole is referred to as “conditional release of a prisoner from a correctional institution on the ground that he is suffering from a terminal illness or an incapacity that renders him incapable of managing his own affairs.”

De Lima said the measure would rationalize the correctional practice by allowing the condittional release of permanently-incapable prisoners.

SB 2084, or the proposed Medical Parole Act, seeks to provide for a humane treatment of detainees who are incapable of serving their sentences within the correctional facilities because of their medical conditions.

Under the proposed measure, the grant of medical parole may be opposed, depending on the severity of the inmate’s illness.

The inmate’s conditional release can also be rejected, if is considered a threat to public safety or the inmate is likely to commit an offense while on medical parole.

“[SB 2084] provides a mechanism for citizens and interested parties to oppose any application as a matter of check against any application, any improvident or even fraudulent grant of medical parole,” De Lima said.

On July 21, De Lime filed a similar measure, Senate Bill 1879, which seeks to integrate the management of the country’s jails and prisons under one agency tasked to provide better treatment and rehabilitation program for all detainees and prisoners. (SunStar Philippines)

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