TACLOBAN CITY– At least 24 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) were released on Wednesday (April 24) at the Leyte Regional Prison (LRP) in Abuyog, Leyte.
The release of the PDLs was witnessed by the chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Persida Rueda-Acosta, who urged the remaining inmates not to lose hope as they too could also be released from the facility.

It was learned that the 24 inmates were released as their petitions for parole, mainly due to good conduct time allowance (GCTA), were approved by the Board of Pardons and Parole, an attached agency of the Department of Justice.

At present, there are 3,199 PDLs at the LRP serving their respective sentences whose crimes ranged from illegal possession of drugs, murder, rape, and other heinous crimes.
During her visit, Rueda-Acosta disclosed that there is now a ruling from the Supreme Court granting convicted prisoners of heinous crimes to GCTA, giving them the opportunity for early release from prison from their jail terms.

“The decision of the Supreme Court has come recently which recognized that as long as someone is imprisoned, even if sentenced to life, reclusion perpetua or a maximum of 30 or 40 years, regardless of the setting, good behavior can now be granted,” the PAO chief said, whose audio remarks during the occasion was provided to the Inquirer.

“So don’t fight anymore, do some riots because you can also go home. And I want you to go home alive and not resting,” Rueda-Acosta added.

She also said that the release of convicted inmates at the prison facilities is part of the program of the national government to decongest the jail facilities.

At present, there are 3,199 convicted prisoners at LRP, which has a capacity of just 700.
But last January of this year, 48 inmates from the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City were transferred to LRP, to decongest the national penitentiary.

On the same occasion, PAO lawyers provided legal services to the inmates and medical attention to the elderly and sick inmates.