Jail bureau bars inmates from bodily harm as Holy Week penance

MANILA The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) will not allow prisoners to inflict bodily harm on themselves as an act of penance this Holy Week.

BJMP spokesperson, Senior Insp. Xavier Solda, said jail administrators allow other religious activities in jail facilities nationwide every Holy Week, such as the Pabasa or the rhythmic reading of the Passion of Christ, prayers, and offering of mass.

However, the act of inflicting bodily harm as a form of penance, a tradition among some Filipinos, especially in the province during Holy Week, is prohibited in prison, Solda said.

The BJMP official noted that aside from some inconveniences inside the jail facilities, a wound caused by such ritual might result in infection and might even be contagious, risking the health of all prisoners.

He said the BJMP would implement measures so that the expected influx of people visiting their relatives in jail would not result to overcrowding in jail facilities nationwide.

The Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday (March 25) and culminates on Easter Sunday (April 1).

Source: Philippine News Agency