Thursday, May 15, 2008


San Pablo City - From among men in uniform, meaning police, army, navy, air force, marines, BFP and BJMP there is common perception that the least glamorous is the BJMP. The notion is that the elements of BJMP escort only detention prisoners or convicted felons. Unlike the other except of course the BFP they guard VIPs and dignitaries.

Little did we understand the significant role BJMP plays in the five pillars of the criminal justice system? If the community is victimized by unscrupulous individual or group of individuals it is the police that are task to gather evidence, establish case and apprehend the violators of law.

In cases of uncontrollable lawlessness needing greater coercive restraint we call upon the AFP to suppress it. But in all instances these lawless elements, the felons or the criminals will have to be tried in court and prosecuted. The court may hand the verdict of acquittal or conviction. In acquittal the accused is left scot-free but in conviction the accused is considered a menace to society. He has to be permanently or temporarily segregated and be segregated from the community.

The BJMP has the wall to give meaning to the court’s decision. BJMP sees to it that the felon or felons are confined and could do no more harm to the community. But the work of the BJMP does not end in simply punishing the convicts and limiting their access to the four walls of the jail. The BJMP is task to treat the felons humanely providing them decent accommodation and basic necessities out of meager resources allocated for its operations.

On top of the tough demands to provide international standard treatment for prisoners, BJMP is likewise mandated to have a program for their rehabilitation. BJMP is expected to prepare the detainees for their ultimate re-assimilation to society as free men after serving sentence. It is a tall order to follow considering the various factors that affect the person and personality of the convicts.

Chief Inspector Wilmor T. Plopinio the new warden of San Pablo City BJMP in elucidating some of the metaphysical variables to rehabilitation gave the following: “physiological, environmental, psychological, clinical and pathological.. A very holistic and multi-axial approach and a no nonsense diagnosis indispensable to consider which only a person who knows and competent about his work can expound. He really has a wide range of knowledge about penology and human behavior. It will probably take week to grasp his theoretical and practical dept. on the subject.

To further illustrate his analysis of the BJMP mandate Chief Inspector Wilmor T. Plopinio categorically stated that he cannot stop on simply rehabilitating a prisoner in attitude. It is not simply making them recognize responsibility as a member of an organized society and respect to others right. Many succeed on that part but the hardest is for the convict felon to redeem his self respect, his human worth and that he can still be worthy and productive member of the community that ostracized him once. The healing of the deep aching wound comes short in time but the scar remains long after the pain is gone. BJMP really has a vital role to play but with all their noble achievement and task BJMP remains in anonymity and sans the glamour. BJMP deserves our accolade. These men put felons in order so that peace would follow. (SANDY BELARMINO/vp-7LPC)

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