MANILA – More than 4,000 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) have been released from April 30 to May 8, a Supreme Court (SC) official said Sunday.
Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said videoconferencing hearings in cities throughout the country have led to the release of 4,683 PDLs.
From March 17 to April 29, similar measures aimed at decongesting jails resulted in the release of a total of 9,731 PDLs.
“We expect a lot more courts to conduct hearings through videoconferencing this coming week that may result (in) more releases of PDLs,” Marquez said.
Marquez said this can be attributed to circulars issued by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta allowing videoconferencing hearings and the release of PDLs accused of minor crimes who were released on a reduced bail or their own recognizance.
He added that hearings via videoconferencing being done in Baguio City, Cebu, and some cities in Mindanao.
In a report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week, Chief Public Attorney Persida V. Rueda-Acosta said from March 16 to April 23, said her agency has rendered legal assistance to 9,214 persons who were subjected to inquest proceedings and moved for the release of 1,359 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under Supreme Court circulars to decongest jails during the Covid-19 crisis. (ia/PNA)