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Bill filed to grant medical parole for terminally-ill inmates

Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed a measure granting medical parole for terminally-ill inmates, which would allow them to serve their sentence under family or better medical care outside prison facilities. STOCK PHOTO

MANILA, November 13, 2018–Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed a measure granting medical parole for terminally-ill inmates, which would allow them to serve their sentence with their family or under better medical care outside correctional facilities.

Dubbed “Medical Parole Act,” Senate Bill 2084 seeks to grant medical parole or what she calls “compassionate parole,” to qualified inmates on humanitarian or medical grounds.

“The grant of medical parole presupposes that the conditional release of a prisoner will not constitute a threat to the safety of the society,” De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said in a statement.

Under the proposed act, medical parole is defined as the “conditional release of a prisoner from a correctional institution on the ground that he is suffering from a terminal illness or an incapacity that renders him incapable of managing his own affairs.”

A self-proclaimed advocate of prison reform herself, de Lima said that establishing the medical parole not only provides for a humane treatment of terminally-ill or permanently-incapable prisoners.

“It will also rationalize the correctional practice by allowing the conditional release of prisoners who are no longer capable of serving their sentences within the correctional facilities due to their conditions,” she added.

The proposed measure, she claimed, will provide a “mechanism” for citizens and interested parties to oppose any application against any improvident or fraudulent grant of medical parole.

“Grant of medical parole may be opposed depending on the severity of the inmate’s illness, or his release will be a threat to public safety or the inmate is likely to commit an offense while on medical parole,” a provision of the bill stipulates.

On July 21, the opposition lawmaker filed Senate Bill 1879, or the “Unified Corrections and Jail Management System Act of 2018,” which seeks to integrate the country’s management system of prisons and jails into a one single government authority. (Joel Cristobal/Luzon Times)

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