New Bilibid Prison Visit, Part 2: BuCor’s BTV3, Munti Paraiso Foundation and E-Dalaw

A definite highlight of our visit to the New Bilibid Prison was our stay in the BTV3 and Munti Paraiso Foundation Headquarters.

The BTV3 and Munti Paraiso Foundation of the New Bilibid Prison is really not all that behind with the recent in technology. I gather this is where the BTV3 people edit the shows they produce for the inmates’ viewing pleasure.

The cafe/bar like nook they have within the grounds of Maximum Security in New Bilibid Prison

If I only posted pictures, I’m sure my dear readers will mistake this for a regular hangout place in the metro. Except of course for the giveaway orange shirts of those boys in the background. Which again, can still pass for just a regular bartenders’s uniforms.

 

1996 Metro Pop Champion Luis Garchitorena Singing a Yet Untitled Original Composition

Listening to Luis Garchitorena as he went about singing this very soulful piece, I cannot help but wonder what happened. My curiosity got me to ask the person who drove us back to Makati what he was in for. We were told that Luis was in on reclusion perpetua. He suspected his late wife to have had an affair. Although paraffin test came back negative and the court previously decided to acquit him, an appeal from his late wife’s family got him to service the sentence.

The truth of the matter is, prisoners come either guilty or not. As Director Pangilinan mentioned that it is true that some prisoners who are guilty, you give them this number of years and they learn their lesson. Some even if they stay there for the rest of their lives will have same mindset and go back to their old ways any way. I love that the spirit of most of the prisons that we encountered that day have that of acceptance. Most of them have dealt with their “fate” for now and have learned a great deal “about life” inside.

The thought of being in the midst of these offenders who are murderers, kidnappers, rapists can be all too overwhelming to process for those who haven’t been to the bureau. I remember having this conversation with one of them from way back,  whose offense could have been prevented by a simple pregnant paternity test.

A person’s emotions have the power to get the best of us, if we allow it. And when we do, before we know it, we have done something that we will regret for the rest of our lives. A predicament that holds true to most inmates. The key to freedom is real repentance. That even if a person gets confined but have dealt their offense with the victim and with the Lord, even the four walls of confinement cannot take that liberty away from that person. Part of real repentance is acceptance of the consequences, as well. And for most of them, this is part of it.

Bureau of Correction’s E-Dalaw

As I earlier mentioned, the New Bilibid Prison has ceased to be the God-forsaken place people used to perceive it to be.  Technology has permeated the confines of the bureau. While most of the prisoners (most I say, because there are still a handful wrongfully accused) surely deserved the judgment they have to serve inside the prison, it is only but humane to still allow them to get in contact with their friends and loved ones. Especially those who cannot afford to come visit because of geographical  restrictions.

If I’m not mistaken, the E-Dalw facility can simultaneously accommodate 12 inmates at a time for 20 minutes maximum. And it does look like your regular internet cafe, right? Yes, with a very summery orange for its background.  🙂

And just when I thought I’ve seen it all, I glance on my side to the E-Dalaw machine itself and an iMac said hello to me. As if my eyes were betraying me, I had to go check each unit and yes, they were all iMacs. I could have drooled right there. I am just thankful that our government are actually funding programs like this. I really would rather that the government invests on quality brands like this than settling for second best just to have the excuse to change units every now and then. For all we know, that’s where  corruption takes its hand.

The Bureau of Corrections E-Dalaw is Free of Charge. If you happen to have a friend or loved one who is in confinement, here are the contact details of E-Dalaw:

E-Dalaw Email: edalaw102011@yahoo.com
E-Dalaw Mobile: 0947-9779593

New Bilibid Prison Visit, Part 2: BuCor’s BTV3, Munti Paraiso Foundation and E-Dalaw

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