Excerpts from the Speech of Atty. Estelito Mendoza
Delivered on August 27, 2015:
As of July 31, 2015, 96.34% of the total number of prisoners or 88,356 of total 91,712 in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) jails are either undergoing trial, awaiting trial or final judgment.
But they are in jail. Under our Constitution,” the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt, and on that basis he is convicted by the court of a criminal offense and sentenced with the corresponding penalty, usually of imprisonment.” As safeguards against the unwarranted issuance of a warrant of arrest, the Constitution requires that no “warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge…”
Most likely, the huge number of prisoners who have not been convicted by final judgment is a consequence. of the person arrested and detained being unable to post bond, and the case against that person continues to be pending trial or judgment by the court..He is most likely without any property which may serve as a bond or is unable to pay the premium for a surety bond.
He also uncovered that in Pampanga, about 3/4 of the inmates in he Provincial jail have been charged under the “Dangerous Drug Act.” And they are not scions of rich people but tricycle drivers, farmers, construction workers, etc. The drug menace gnaws at the vitals of our nation.
Should this state of affairs continue? How should we deal with this problem?