The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it sees nothing wrong in the transfer of at least 10 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) from the New Bilibid Prison to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro amid questions raised by some of the inmates’ relatives.
DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano issued the statement after the partners of some of the inmates trooped to the department’s office in Manila to ask for the condition of their husbands who were moved to another penitentiary without informing their families.
He said there was nothing “sinister” behind the transfer, saying it was decided by Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and heads of other concerned agencies.
“Dumating ang asawa ng mga PDLs na na-transfer natin sa Sablayan galing sa NBP. Wala silang contact pa sa kanilang mga asawa. Siguro ‘yung naging worry lang nila, dapat okay sila. They want to make sure nasa magandang kalagayan ang mga asawa nila,” Clavano told reporters in a chance interview.
(The wives of the PDLs that we transferred to Sablayan from the NBP went here. They did not have any contact with their husbands, that’s why they got worried. They wanted to make sure their partners are in good condition.)
“I assured them na di mandato ng BuCor [Bureau of Corrections] at ng DOJ na saktan…That’s way, way, beyond kung ano talaga ang ginagawa namin. In-assure ko sila na ang mga asawa nila ay nasa magandang kalagayan at siguro di pa muna nilalabas ang rason dahil confidential pa po,” he said.
(I assured them that hurting them is not part of the mandate of the BuCor and the DOJ. That’s way, way beyond our duties. I assured them their husbands were in good condition but the reason for the transfer is still confidential.)
Asked for the reason why the PDLs’ kin were not informed, the DOJ official said: “There are certain things that have to be kept confidential even from the families in order to restore the peace and order sa loob ng kulungan. Alam naman po natin kung gaano kalaki ang problema sa NBP kaya we have to be very careful with our moves”.
(There are certain things that have to be kept confidential even from the families in order to restore the peace and order inside the NBP. We know how big the problem inside the NBP is so we have to be very careful with our move.)
Clavano also said the DOJ would wait for a formal request from the wives of the PDLs for them to have a meeting with Remulla.
“Ngayon we opened our doors for them, that’s true pero kailangan muna nating gawing pormal yung mga request nila. Hindi pwedeng usap-usapan lang, no? We have to make it go through the formal channels before we take our next steps,” he added.
(We opened our doors for them today but they need to make a formal request. We cannot just talk. We have to make it go through the formal channels before we take our next steps.)–LDF, GMA Integrated News