Inmates skip meals to help typhoon Pablo’s victims

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MANILA, Dec. 22, 2012—Even in their poor conditions, prison inmates are more than willing to deprive themselves even more if such would help others in need.

Inmates of National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City have decided to ‘sacrifice’ their meals on December 24, 25, and 26, and donate the money to victims of Typhoon Pablo.

An inmate participates in a livelihood program inside the national penitentiary.

National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) Chairman and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the inmates came to the decision in response to President Benigno Aquino’s call to help the typhoon victims.

Seriously heeding the call of the President, the inmates of the Maximum Security Compound formed an “Operation Kalinga sa Kapwa: Tulong sa mga naulila at biktima ng trahedya na dulot ng Bagyong Pablo” where they intend to donate their food allowances and subsidies allocated for them in three days.

“This Kalinga sa Kapwa is a fasting –a form of sacrifice, wherein the inmates will skip their meals in three days in promotion of the concept of the Restorative Justice, as well as in response to the Aquino administration’s call to help the victims of typhoon Pablo,” Pabillo said.

The bishop added that other cash donations and food items allocated for the Christmas celebration of the inmates in their respective dormitories and organizations were also diverted as “Relief Goods” for Pablo victims.

“They [inmates] authorized the Budget and Finance Division of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) as well as the resident COA Auditor to deduct the amount covering the three-day Kalinga sa Kapwa from their food subsidies and allowances and to remit to the Social Secretary of the Office of the President in Malacañang to be cared of by the BuCor Chaplaincy or by Sr. Zenaida Cabrera, SHE, Caritas-Restorative Justice Ministry,” Pabillo furthered.

The funds to be raised by the inmates through their fund raising projects and donation of used clothes as well as personal belongings that can be useful to Pablo’s victims will be remitted likewise to the President’s Social Secretary.

Officials of the New Bilibid Prison lauded the inmates for manifesting their desire to donate to victims of typhoon Pablo by skipping their meals in three days.

“The worth of their three-day meal is P1,845,00.00 and the inmates practically will be fed though their visitors who are expected to bring more food for the holidays. They [inmate] will share with one another the food they have so they can convert into cash the meal allocated for them during the said period,” said Supt. Antonio Cabil Cruz, OIC, Office of the Assistant Director for Operations, ADCO (Assistant Division Commander Operations).

The Kalinga sa Kapwa Project Coordinator Venancio Roxas, Jr. (N202P-2302) urged his fellow inmates around the country to also create the same project in line with the Christmas spirit. He also acknowledged the people who supported them to make this project possible.

Roxas together with Bishop Pabillo and other Restorative Justice Ministries urged the Aquino administration to give the inmates some importance and priorities.

Except for a terminally-ill inmate who died even before his parole papers were signed, Aquino has not granted any conditional pardon to prisoners since he became president. [SocialActionNews]

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