GMA Orders DoJ to Review Cases of Youth Offenders

Article excerpt

President Arroyo yesterday ordered concerned government agencies to prioritize and reduce detention time of about 20,000 Filipino juvenile offenders.

The directive was issued in the wake of news reports that thousands of juvenile offenders are jailed in the countrys already-congested detention cells along with other hardened adult criminals, some of whom convicted for murder and pedophilia.

"Handle the cases of juvenile offenders first so they could be moved to welfare institutions where they should stay and will not have to join hardened adult criminals," she said at the 7th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption in Malacanang.

A recent CNN news report estimated that about 20,000 Filipino juvenile offenders in jail are reportedly maltreated and malnourished.

The Chief Executive asked Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez to "do something" to expedite the cases slapped against these youth offenders.

She also asked the Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Board of Pardons and Parole to review the list of elderly prisoners who may be qualified for an executive clemency or presidential pardon. …