THE justice department is "expediting" the processing of parole and probation for convicts to decongest prisons, after several prisoners tested positive of the novel coronavirus, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson said yesterday.
The interior department also set up isolation areas for detainees who would catch COVID-19 while waiting for or undergoing trial, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
Chief Public Atttorney Persida V. Acosta hailed the move in pursuit of its mandate for equal access to justice.
Two female inmates from the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) have died from the coronavirus disease or COVID-19, the Bureau of Corrections announced late Tuesday night.
The first inmate, 72, died on Monday afternoon (April 27). She was earlier reported to be the first COVID-19 case at the CIW and was hospitalized on April 13 at the Sta. Ana Hospital after experiencing symptoms for pneumonia.
The second inmate died on April 21 at the East Avenue Medical Center due to sepsis, systemic lupus, and pneumonia but her test results only came out on Monday indicating she was also positive for the coronavirus.
The BuCor, in a Facebook post, said the woman had been in and out of EAMC since February 2020 because of her systemic lupus, kidney disease, and other ailments but was last admitted on April 13.
The death of the 2 female inmates brought to 3 the total number of inmates who died due to COVID-19 while in prison.
The New Bilibid Prison, which is also under BuCor, recorded its first death on Thursday last week, an inmate who was admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.