CHIEF Justice Diosdado Peralta yesterday disclosed that more than 80,000 inmates or persons deprived of liberty have been released since lockdowns were imposed in the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Peralta revealed this during his online press conference with justice reporters entitled “Supreme Court: Rising Above the Pandemic.”
According to Peralta, of the total number of 81,888 released PDLs, 46,032 got their freedom via videoconferencing.
Also, 19,173 PDLs were released through bail/recognizance; 2,980 freed for having already served minimum imposable , and 8,669 released on probation or fine.
Peralta also said that 4,575 were released after their cases were dismissed; 1,556 were acquitted; 3,905 have already served minimum penalty recognizance and 5,175 served maximum penalty.
Since the pandemic, the SC has been releasing circulars to help decongest jails, such as allowing electronic filing of charge sheets and transmission of release orders, reiteration of guidelines on release of qualified PDLs through self-recognizance and provisional dismissal, pilot testing of videoconference of urgent trials and issuing new guidelines on the reduced bail and recognizance as modes for releasing of indigent PDLs.#