In a bid to decongest jail and prison facilities, more than 80,000 detainees were released during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta said.
Mr. Peralta said 81,888 inmates were released from the start of community quarantine implementation March 17 to Oct. 16.
Of the releases, 46,032 were conducted through videoconference.
A total of 19,173 prisoners were allowed to be released through reduced bail or recognizance, while 2,980 had served the minimum imposable penalty and 8,669 were placed under probation.
Mr. Peralta also said that 4,575 cases were dismissed, 1,556 prisoners were acquitted, 3,904 had served the minimum penalty, and 5,175 had served their maximum penalty.
About 880 children in conflict with the law were also released from detention through videoconferencing.
The Supreme Court has issued guidelines to address the congestion in jails and prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection in detention facilities, including the release of indigents through reduced bail or on their own recognizance.
The court also allowed that hearing be conducted through videoconferencing and the filing of pleadings online.
Mr. Peralta said a total of 110,369 video conference hearings were conducted from May 4 to Oct. 16. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas