Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday appealed to more than 3,500 Persons Deprived with Liberty (PDL) to know their sense of purpose in life despite being currently detained, telling them there is hope to be transformed and reintegrated into society.
Cayetano, who makes it a yearly tradition to be with inmates for his birthday, held a post-celebration on November 10, 2023 at the Taguig City Jail and Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ).
“Ako po ay nandito upang mag-celebrate, hindi lamang po ng aking birthday, kundi pati ng purpose ng bawat isa sa inyo. Dalangin ko po na dumating ang inyong transformation at ma-discover ninyo kung sino kayo [sa Panginoon],” the senator told PDLs and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel on Friday.
He also reminded each one of them that they are not born by accident.
”Nandoon pa lang (tayo) sa sinapupunan, kilala na tayo ng Panginoon. Ang problema minsan ay tayo ang hindi nakakakilala sa Kanya,” he said.
To empower the PDLs to walk a better path, Cayetano offered his and City of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano’s help in transformation.
“Kami po ni Lani ay gusto kayong maging kaibigan, kapuso, at kapamilya… Tatrabahuin natin ang livelihood programs at upgrading capacity sa mga jails para paglabas ninyo ay pwede kayo maging productive citizens at pwede kumita,” he said.
He asked National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Acting Regional Director PBGen. Jose Nartatez Jr. and wardens to assist them in knowing the inmates’ interest and purpose in life.
“Tulungan nyo po kami sa ano purpose nila at kami ay magkakaroon ng mga programa na tulungang makuha ang purpose na iyon,” he said.
In a Facebook Live before his visit to the facilities, Cayetano shared that one of the programs he is seeking to work on is a drug rehabilitation program inside the city jails.
“One thing na ipagpray natin ay malaking porsyento ang nasa kulungan ay may kinalaman sa drugs. Nahihirapan kasi sila mag rehab sa addiction sa drugs. It’s the one thing that I’m looking at – how to have an effective drug rehabilitation program sa loob ng jails,” he said.
In his speech, Cayetano honored the leadership of BJMP and Bureau of Corrections (BOC), including Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., and the spiritual ministers who put in time and effort into helping the inmates.
“Gusto kong i-honor ang BJMP, BOC under DOJ, both Secretaries Remulla and Abalos, and every single minister – priest, imam, pastor na mayroon pong gawain sa ating mga jail. I’d like to honor you today. Kung kami once a year bumisita, yung mga may ministry ay every week po nandoon,” he said.