Adopt-a-prisoner program launched

Provincial Administrator Bernardo Piñol Jr. said the activity is implemented in collaboration with the Philippine Women's Judges Association and the Municipal and Regional Trial Courts in North Cotabato.

Piñol said the program aims to encourage residents of the province to donate to prisoners detained at the provincial and municipal jails.

He said the courts will accept donations such as used clothing, mosquito nets, towels, bed sheets and other items from November 27 to December 5.

Court employees will simultaneously distribute the gifts on December 6.

"I appeal to our constituents in North Cotabato to participate in this endeavor. Let us share in making our constituents in jail feel the spirit of Christmas by giving," Piñol said.

In another development, the Task Force Preso also facilitated the release of seven prisoners at the North Cotabato provincial jail this year.

Piñol, the Task Force chair, said released inmates have served the maximum penalty for the crimes charged against them, mostly theft and robbery.

"This is one way to decongest our overcrowded provincial jail. That is why the governor has also tasked our provincial legal officer to check the cases filed in court against the inmates," he stressed.

He disclosed that some 700 inmates are being detained at the North Cotabato provincial jail. The jail could only accommodate 350 inmates.
Some of the inmates are now suffering from skin diseases and other illnesses due to overcrowding. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)