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Over 700 PDLs returned to Rizal BJMP facility after evacuating due to Paeng

More than 700 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) were safely returned to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology's (BJMP's) Rizal jail facilities  following their evacuation on Saturday due to Tropical Storm Paeng.

According to Marisol Abdurahman’s Sunday report on “24 Oras Weekend,” Rizal BJMP warden Jail Superintendent Alvin Gavan said the local government ordered the evacuation of PDLs as the water level in a nearby river rose due to heavy rains.

“May directive na si Mayor na maglikas na ‘yung mga nasa gilid [ng ilog] kasi nasa 21 [meters] something na ‘yung tubig sa ilog,” Gavan said.

(The Mayor issued a directive to evacuate those along the river because the water level in the river was about 21 meters.)

Over 600 men and more than 100 women inmates were evacuated, the report said.

Galvan, however, admitted that evacuating and returning the inmates to the jail was not an easy task due to the security measures that had to be taken.

“Anytime pwedeng may makatakas, may mag-attempt na i-rescue sa amin. Kulang ang CR, walang higaan kundi sa lapag at mayroon tayong mga PDL na may mga sakit lalo na ‘yung mga matatanda na,” he said.

(Anytime someone can escape, someone would have to be rescued. There weren't enough bathrooms, there were no beds, and we have PDLs with illnesses, especially the elderly.)

Aside from the PDLs, jailers had to bring their equipment and supplies with them.

Meanwhile, some of the inmates' loved ones patiently waited for their return to the jail.

“Nag-alala din ho kami. Panay ho kami nakikibalita,” a mother of a PDL said.

(We were also worried. We always kept checking what was going on.)

Like other relatives of PDLs, the 64-year-old mother was happy to see her son return.

“Maligaya. Masaya ako nakita ko [na ang anak ko],” she said.

(I’m happy that I was able to see my son.)

Marikina river

Meanwhile, over 2,300 families in Marikina City returned home after their preemptive evacuation due to heavy rains from Paeng on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Marikina City government raised the second alarm on the Marikina River at 1:50 p.m. as the water level rose.

With the second alarm, residents had to evacuate from low-lying and flood-prone areas.

The alert level at the river was downgraded to the first alarm on Sunday morning after the water level went down to 15.8 meters.

In a separate advisory, the Marikina PIO said the water level of the river went back to normal around 3 p.m. at 14.7 meters, with all gates of the Manggahan Floodway still open. — Mel Matthew Doctor/DVM, GMA News