COURT-ORDERED COMMUNITY SERVICE IN SPRATLY ISLANDS INSTEAD OF IMPRISONMENT
Well, here I go again. I was scolded and nearly chastised by my superiors for thinking aloud last year (2013) when I wrote that sending prisoners to the contested Spratly Islands can virtually decongest our prison system. Accordingly, I should not meddle in international affairs since the areas under question should remain as it was; that I should not add nor fuel to the brewing controversy. I followed. Our government, including its citizens, should not meddle and rekindle anything that would disturb peace in the area. I kept quiet since then.
While browsing internet the other day (2014) however, there was this news dispatch that China has nearly completed its reclamation project in one of the disputed islands in West Philippine Sea. When it was inquired about it, Beijing responded that its actions are within the scope of Chinese sovereignty.
I wish to submit another proposal. Why not formulate a legislative piece as part of the penalty matrix for offenses instead of institutionalization or imprisonment, this time, a court-ordered community service in the Spratly Islands. So that convicted offenders would not be crammed in an overcrowded facility, why not send them for a period in the Islands to do community service, like clearing, maintaining the coastal lines, constructing infrastructure, sustaining the bio-diversity of the area, reforestation and the like. Offenders under court-order community service may no longer add in the mass of offenders congregating inside an over populated facility but could generously explore his environment and participate in communal work. Furthermore, we may as yet expand our rehab services to include teaching prisoners to love and respect property and their environment.
The point is not necessarily occupying the island (despite the fact that it is ours anyway), although that in a way is a political statement already, but on the manner of depopulating our congested prison and squalid jail facilities.
This writer further sayeth naught.