By Sarwell Meniano
PALO, Leyte – At least 28 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) were released from detention in Leyte jail facilities on Wednesday in time for the New Year.
These PDLs were detained in the provincial jail in Kauswagan village of this town and sub-provincial jails in Baybay City and Hilongos town.
Provincial jail warden Lt. Col. Joselito Villas said all PDLs released from prison passed the criteria as reviewed by members of the Leyte management, screening and evaluation committee.
“They are ready to return to the community, spend the New Year with the loved ones, and become productive after years of detention,” Villas told reporters during a press briefing here.
Regional prosecutor Erwin Maraya congratulated the PDLs for qualifying for the early release program.
“The best New Year is best spent with family and friends. We hope not to see you again,” Maraya told the PDLs.
The PDLs were released as part of the good conduct time allowance and through plea bargaining agreements.
Most of those released were imprisoned due to drug-related charges.
Jhonny Reoma, 42, detained for possession of illegal drugs in October 2018 is in high spirits and thankful for the opportunity to be released after four years of detention at the sub-provincial jail in Hilongos town.
He was supposed to be released in 2024 but qualified to regain early freedom due to good conduct.
“I will go back to my old job of selling fish and not be involved in illegal drugs since life in prison was very hard. My wife left me when policemen arrested me. I want to spend more time with my daughter,” Reoma said.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority listed all the names of released PDLs, including their contact information for inclusion in skills and livelihood training.
“We encourage you set an example in your communities. Your families are excited to see your change,” said Leyte Provincial Administrator Maria Corazon Alvero.
Since 2016, some 200 PDLs have been released early, including 70 who returned home this year.
The Leyte provincial government manages the provincial jail in this town and six provincial jails in Baybay City and the towns of Palompon, Calubian, Abuyog, Hilongos and Carigara. (PNA)