Iloilo inmates stage protest; warden sacked

ILOILO CITY — At least 100 persons deprived of liberty at the Iloilo District Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan on Wednesday called for the ouster of the jail warden in a noise barrage held at the rooftop of the district jail.

The inmates lamented that they were lacking food in their daily rations.

Bureau of Jail Management and Penology spokesperson Jairus Dogelio said the PDLs took the chance to climb to the roof of their administration building while they were preparing for their regular Mass held every Wednesday.

“They took that as an opportunity to carry out their plan to hold a noise barrage,” said Dogelio, adding that the PDLs padlocked the entrance leading to the rooftop.

Initial reports from the Iloilo Police Provincial Office disclosed that the protest started around 8:35 a.m. and ended around 3:23 p.m. after a series of negotiations.

Dogelio added that jail authorities would try to find out the root cause of the protest and make necessary corrections in due time. The Iloilo District Jail has more than a thousand PDLs.

“Their main demand is to remove our jail warden. We have already received a directive from our regional director to immediately remove our existing warden and to place someone to take charge of the management in order for us to conduct an investigation thoroughly and not influence the investigation,” Dogelio said.

With this development, Jail Chief Inspector Norberto Miciano Jr. was relieved as the warden on Wednesday and replaced by his deputy, Jail Inspector Woody Palmejar.

According to the BJMP official, a probe will be launched to look into the complaint about the lack of food supply and the high price of products being sold by a commissary inside the facility.

The district jail, Dogelio said, has a food service supervisor who handles the preparation of food, which has a budget of P70 per PDL per day for three meals. The regional office is also furnished with the menu.

Dogelio added that the protest was triggered by the transfer of 44 PDLs to a new building last week.

They were afraid that they would all be transferred and padlocked inside the building, he said.

“We have a new building and we are taking steps to utilize that building. We transferred 44 high-risk, high-profile, and high-value PDLs there,” Dogelio said.

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