Celso intervenes in jail row PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 February 2013 11:02

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Wednesday intervened to defuse the row between jail inmates and the City Jail Warden, as tension gripped the City Reformatory Center due to a protest action staged by some prisoners.

Emerging from a thorough meeting with the contesting parties inside the City Jail building, Lobregat Wednesday night said all concerned have aired their grievances and that the inmates have assured that everything would be back to normal Thursday.

Emotions ran high at the Reformatory Center in Calixto St. starting early Wednesday morning when inmates held a noise barrage demanding the ouster of City Jail Warden Chief Insp. Julius Arro on grounds that they are not given proper and decent food.

The noise barrage forced jail personnel to temporarily suspend the entry of visitors that all the more aggravated the situation inside the detention cells later in the day.
Lobregat has been monitoring the situation at the City Jail since early Wednesday morning has been in close contact with Arro including Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Regional Director Supt. Michael Vedamo and even BJMP Chief Supt. Diony Mamaril.

“Before coming here I was able to talk to the [BJMP] Regional Director and also the Chief BJMP and we have been monitoring the situation and we knew what is happening,” Lobregat said, stressing that he has also been receiving text messages and calls concerning some information about the incident.

Lobregat met with the inmates’ leaders or what they are called as ‘bosyo’ or ‘mayor’ and the jail warden to get both sides of the issue. “According to them [inmates’ leaders] the main complaint is the food, they were saying ‘kulang ang pagkain, palaging tamban [ang ulam] at minsan yong bigas [kulay] itim”.

The jail warden on the other hand explained his side but stressed that the food was not the issue, according to Lobregat.

In the course of his meeting, the mayor said he was informed that the food is prepared by fellow inmates and that the food allocation has not been reduced.

And so to determine the veracity of the complaints and the responses [to the complaints], Lobregat has taken upon himself to have somebody from the City Health Office (CHO) or other concerned City Government department to check the food preparation at the City City Jail.“The checking will be done at random to see the quality of the food but of course it will be based on whatever allocation is given [to each inmate] on a per meal basis”.

On issues about drugs proliferating at the Reformatory Center, Lobregat said stricter measures are being enforced by jail personnel to prevent illegal items to sneak in.
Nevertheless, he hinted that continuous coordination with concerned authorities will be done to fully resolve the jail row. — Sheila Covarrubias