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303 Manila City Jail inmates vote

MANILA, Philippines — In what was called a “historic” turnout, 303 inmates of the Manila City Jail yesterday cast their votes in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

“For the first time, inmates voted in the village and youth council elections,” Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said before his ocular visit to the city jail.

One of the inmates, known as “Recca,” was among 278 prisoners in the male dormitory who voted for candidates of Barangay 310, Zone 31.

Twenty-five female inmates cast their votes at the city jail’s Malasakit Hall.

Elderly and disabled inmates were escorted to regular polling areas in schools and were given special lanes, according to Bureau of Jail Management and Penology chief Supt. Ruel Rivera.

A total of 2,293 inmates in prisons under the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) were qualified to vote for the BSKE.

According to BuCor, 983 inmates came from the Davao Prison and Penal Farm.

This was followed by 950 registered inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Of the figure, 864 inmates came from the NBP’s maximum security compound, 61 from the medium security building and five from the minimum security compound.

Around 333 inmates were registered from the Leyte Regional Prison Farm and 47 from the Correctional Institution for Women.

In Malabon, at least 110 inmates voted for BSKE candidates, city police chief Col. Jay Baybayan said.

In 2022, the Supreme Court issued a resolution, allowing inmates to vote in the national and local elections. — Mark Ernest Villeza, Cecille Suerte Felipe