New Bilibid Prison
Façade of the current New Bilid Prison.
|Location||Muntinlupa City, Philippines|
|Security class||Maximum security|
|Managed by||Bureau of Corrections|
The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, Philippines, is the main insular penitentiary designed to house the prison population of the Philippines. It is maintained by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) under the Department of Justice. As of October 2004, it has an inmate population of 16,747. The penitentiary had an initial land area of 551 hectares. One hundred four hectares of the facility were transferred to a housing project of the Department of Justice. The Bureau of Corrections has its headquarters in the NBP Reservation.
The Old Bilibid Prison, then known as Carcel y Presidio Correccional (Spanish, "Correctional Jail and Military Prison") occupied a rectangular piece of land which was part of the Mayhalique Estate in the heart of Manila. The old prison was established by the Spanish colonial government on 25 June 1865 via royal decree. It is divided into two sections: the Carcel, which could accommodate 600 inmates; and the Presidio, which could hold 527 prisoners.
Due to increasing crime, the Philippine Government enacted Commonwealth Act No. 67 and a new prison was built in Muntinlupa on 551 hectares of land at an area considered at that time to be "remote". Construction began in 1936 with a budget of one million pesos. In 1940, the prisoners, equipment and facilities were transferred to the new prison. The remnants of the old facility was used by the City of Manila as its detention center then known as Manila City Jail. In 1941, the new facility was officially named "The New Bilibid Prison".
Recreation and facilities
The prisoners pass the time in the basketball court in the penitentiary's gymnasium and are also engaged in the production of handicrafts. Various religious denominations are active in the prison, with masses said daily in the prison's Catholic chapel. These religious groups, such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Amazing Grace Christian ministries, Philippine Jesuit Prison Service and Caritas Manila, also extend medical services to prisoners.
Educational facilities inside the compound provide elementary education, high school education, vocational training and adult literacy programs. It also provides a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce. The New Bilibid Prison also houses a talipapa (market) where the prisoners can buy commodities.
On 5 September 1991, President Corazon C. Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation No. 792, which was amended by Presidential Proclamation No. 120 on 15 December 1992, to the effect that 104.22 hectares of land be developed into housing for employees of the Department of Justice and other government agencies. This housing project is known as the Katarungan ("Justice") Village.
- Amado V. Hernández is a National Artist for Literature who wrote his masterpieces while imprisoned in the facility.
- Actor Robin Padilla reverted to Islam and wed his first wife, Liezl Sicangco, whilst serving a 21-year prison sentence for illegal weapons possession. He was released in 1998 after having been granted pardon by President Fidel Ramos.
- Former senator Jovito Salonga was imprisoned by the Kempetai on April 1942, during the onset of the Japanese Occupation in World War II.
- Claudio Teehankee, Jr., the son of former Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, Sr., who was convicted on 6 October 1995.
- Hubert Webb, the son of former senator Freddie Webb, was convicted on 6 January 2000 for his alleged role in the 1991 Vizconde Massacre. The Supreme Court later acquitted Webb on 14 December 2012.
- General Tomoyuki Yamashita was the commander of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines in 1944. He was incarcerated while undergoing trial for war crimes committed during the Japanese Occupation and was eventually executed by hanging in Los Baños, Laguna on 23 February 1946.
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