Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeSC Mandates Judges to Assess PDL Conditions Amid Extreme Heat

SC Mandates Judges to Assess PDL Conditions Amid Extreme Heat

The Supreme Court has issued a directive for judges to personally inspect jails within their jurisdictions to evaluate the conditions of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) during the intense heat.

The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has issued a circular instructing judges to make these trips at least once before May 31.

The OCA circular stressed the possible harm that intense heat and weather can do to people who are detained, particularly as these people are housed in cramped facilities.

“All concerned judges are directed to conduct jail visitation at least once within their respective jurisdictions on any day, not later than May 31, 2024, for the sole purpose of determining how PDLs are affected by this heat wave,” the circular stated.

The OCA emphasized that this requirement is an addition to judges’ routine quarterly visits to prisoners.

Judges must provide their executive judges with a report on their visitation and inspection of the court lockup within five days of the visit. After receiving the report, the executive judges are supposed to send it on to the OCA in the same amount of time.

This initiative comes in response to forecasts by the state weather bureau, PAGASA, predicting continued high temperatures in the country until mid-May.

According to PAGASA’s latest heat index bulletin, 32 areas in the Philippines are classified under “danger,” increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat cramps and heat stroke.

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