The Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) is recommending that 500 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in Inagawan Sub-Colony receive the special time allowance for loyalty, or STAL privilege, after zero incidents of escape were recorded during the evacuation when typhoon Odette hit Puerto Princesa City in December last year.

Information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said the recommendation is addressed to the Central Office of the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) for its approval. He added that the prison management will be forwarding the recommendation, which includes the attachment of documentation and proof.

The water caused by flooding reached waist-deep during the height of Odette, forcing the management of the sub-colony to evacuate the PDLs from the medium-security camp to the church to ensure their safety during the nighttime.

“Nasa process pa ‘yong, first time ‘yon sa history ng IPPF na STAL. Noong nagkaroon ng bagyo wherein tinransfer ‘yong mga PDL na less security and pagkaganon na walang nangyaring negative, binibigyan sila ng STAL due to their loyalty. Kasi in the middle of the night, walang ilaw, everything, ita-transfer mo ‘yong tao dahil lulubog na sa tubig mga risk na ganon ba,” Evangelista said.

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“Bukod pa ‘yong GCTA, plus yan, plus points—kapag bagyo, sunog, natural calamities, nagiba ‘yong bakod, dahil sa baha. Hindi sila gumawa ng untoward incident, ilalabas mo yong 500 na tao tapos mga tatlo o apat lang ang bantay. For their loyalty to the institution,” he added.

According to article 98 of RA 10592, the STAL is a privilege for PDLs who have evaded preventive imprisonment or service of sentence under the circumstances cited in Article 158 of the Revised Penal Code and surrendered to the authorities within forty-eight (48) hours following the proclamation announcing the passing away of the calamity or catastrophe referred to in the said article. There are occasions of disorder resulting from a conflagration, earthquake, explosion, or similar catastrophe, as mentioned in Article 158 of the Revised Penal Code.

The one-fifth deduction of PDLs period of sentence will be granted, while the two-fifth deduction will be granted if the inmate opted to stay in jail during the calamity.

“Particular lang din, tulad nito apat ang sub-colony pero particularly lang sa Inagawan because doon lang ‘yong may nangyari na lumikas. Na kinakailangan na lumikas sila—parang first time ito nang dumating ako, ngayon pa lang mangyayari. Sa Leyte may na-release na rin dahil sa STAL, dahil naman sa sunog,” he said.

“Kasi ‘yong risk na i-transfer mo sila, in the middle of the night and lack of security, risk ‘yon. Anytime pwede sila sumisid or what, that is the time na pwede mo samantalahin ‘yong sitwasyon kung gugustuhin na magagawa mo siya—naglalakad kayo ng madilim parang don na lang tayo magkita sa simbahan, ganon ang nangyari. Despite the fact na ganon ay hindi naisip ng mga tao na umalis o tumakas. Pwede tumakas sila sabay-sabay lahat pero not even one ay gumawa ng ganon because of their loyalty,” he added.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.