Launch of Handbook on Islam in Places of detention

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) led the launching of the “Handbook on Islam in Places of Detention,” highlighting its significance in promoting respect for religious and cultural diversity within the Philippine correctional system during the event launch Tuesday at Novotel Hotel in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Attended by various stakeholders and representatives from the Bureau of Corrections headed by its Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr., Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Chief, JDir. Ruel S. Rivera, Police General Rommel Francisco Marbil , Sheikh Sabuddin Abdurahim, Secretary, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Richard Palpal-Latoc , Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights and Presidential Adviser on Muslim Affairs Almarim Centi Tillah.

This handbook represents a collaborative effort between PNP, BuCor, BJMP, NCMF, and CHR, an initiative that begun in 2023.

According to UNOCD, this handbook is designed to support custodial officers on the front lines of jails, prisons, and other places of detention in the Philippines,
as well as senior managers and decision-makers within agencies
responsible for the custody of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

It aims to aid in the development and implementation of policies that foster a culturally sensitive environment, ensuring the treatment of PDLs align with international standards.

Bureau of Corrections Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. said this handbook is a milestone and will form part of our reform agenda adding, this will help us in more ways than one as this will guide our corrections officers in their daily activities and treatment of our Muslim brothers.

Though in BuCor, we allowed all religious organizations to practice their faith and they are treated fairly when it comes to their reformation program.

Proof of that is when I was appointed as Director General my first order to all PDLs is for them to find their religion, because we may have different religions but we only have one GOD, and if we have one GOD there will be peace and harmony in our country,” Catapang said.