Inmates behind Bataan jail protest face raps

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology will charge a still undetermined number of inmates who allegedly destroyed government property in a riot inside the Bataan provincial jail last October 16.

At the same time, Jail Director Rosendo Dial said relatives of detainees would only be allowed to visit them starting October 26, a day after the elections, and until jail personnel have finished the repair of the damaged facilities inside the provincial jail.

Around 900 inmates held a noise barrage allegedly protesting changes inside the jail, after it was turned over to the BJMP by the local government.

Dial, however, called the protest a “riot” and said this was a result of the “greyhound operation” conducted by jail personnel to rid the facility of contrabands and to dismantle so-called kubols or
make-shift shanties.

He added that 19 inmates who allegedly instigated the riot have been transferred to the Olongapo City jail.

However, Dial clarified that not all of the 19 would be charged with damage to government property.

Citing a report from the BJMP in Region 3, Dial said, “While the greyhound was in progress, inmates mounted a noise barrage and started destroying cell padlocks, drainage steel coverings, emergency fire
hoses and belongings issued by the provincial government.”

Around 39 inmates and two jail personnel were wounded in the incident in which P500,000 worth of property was destroyed.

The Commission on Human Rights has said that it would strictly monitor the developments at the Bataan provincial jail.

CHR Commissioner Etta Rosales also denied reports that two of the inmates were killed.

“We will reserve our judgment and get to know what the facts are first,” she added.

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