“Double Food Budget” Schemes of Top BJMP Officials, Just the Tip of the Iceberg

We, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) peace consultants and other political prisoners detained at the Special Intensive Care Area 1 (SICA 1) Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City salute Jail Inspector Angelina Lumba Bautista, Warden of the Bataan District Jail (earlier called “Bataan Provincial Jail”).
We, who are being detained because of our fight against the sufferings of the mass of our people in the hands of the abusive and oppressive powers that be in the ruling government and state, are highly in praise of J/Insp. Bautista for her very courageous filing (last March 20, before the Ombudsman) of a plunder case against top officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). She has charged them of pocketting of scores of millions of pesos supposedly to be used for the detainees’ subsistence allowance (food rations, medicines and the like), but have instead been used only to fill the pockets of those top BJMP officials.
We could see her real concern and sincerity in her exposure of the plunderous anomalies by top BJMP officials at the expense of the victimized detainees in BJMP jails (more than 84,000 in 462 BJMP jails throughout the country), as,  in a TV interview last May 5, she called on other wardens in other jails, and others with information about the BJMP top officials’ plunderous anomalies, to expose similar anomalies victimizing detainees in BJMP jails.
Armed with budget and appropriations documents both from the Bataan provincial government and from the Bataan District Jail, after the latter was transferred from the jurisdiction of the provincial government to that of the BJMP, she exposed the anomalous “double budgetting” supposedly for the BJMP detainees’ subsistence allowance.
She revealed that, while the Bataan provincial government was still appropriating budget for such during the August 2010 to August 2013 transistion period for the transfer of administration of the jail from the provincial government to the BJMP, the latter was already also reflecting supposedly the same allocations as supposedly coming from the BJMP’s funds.
With further investigations, J/Insp. Bautista also gathered data about similar “double budgeting” anomalies by the BJMP national leadership supposed for detainees’ subsistence allowances in jails also being transferred from the custody of other provincial governments — in Bohol, Iloilo, Albay and Quezon — to that of the BJMP. She estimated that the accumulated amount in the “double budgeting” could reach up to Php 50 million.
That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg…
J/Insp. Bautista also blared out the even more greedy and wicked continuing plunder by BJMP top officials long after provincial jails have been fully turned over to the BJMP. In the case of the Bataan District Jail, she revealed that long after it was already fully turned over to the BJMP and the earlier  “double budgeting” had stopped, the actual worth in kind of the detainees’ subsistence allowance being delivered by the top leadership of  BJMP  to the Bataan District Jail was, in practice, reduced to a mere P15 per detainee per day — 33% of what the detainees should be receiving in kind, as per the BJMP’s budget. The top BJMP leadership centralizes and tightly controls the purchase and delivery of food rations to local jails, and can thus, in actual practice unilaterally greatly reduce the actual expenditures and divert the larger part of the detainees’ subsistence allowance.
The government’s General Appropriations Act allocates for each inmate under the custody of the BJMP and the Bureau of Corrections, P50.00 for food subsistence and P3.00 for medicine allowance daily. Practically all cities in Metro Manila and in many provinces also allocate P20 per detainee for additional food subsistence in jails within their area, even if the administration of those jails have already been transferred to the BJMP.
The SICA 1 Jail and SICA 2 Jail are exceptions and are the only BJMP jails in Metro Manila, that do not receive any additonal food subsistence from city governments, aside from the P50 supposedly allocated daily for each BJMP detainee.
Even then, as we have for several years been observing and meticulously recording daily, we are not being given the equivalent of P50 per detainee per day for our food subsistence. In our daily observations and computations, the cooked food rations being given us are in reality worth just a little more than P15 per detainee per day — practically the same worth presently being delivered to the Bataan District Jail, as J/Insp. Bautista is complaining about.
We had actually earlier raised this matter before the present SICA 1 Warden, J/Insp. Michelle Ng Bonto. But her answer was: “Local jail authorities have practically no say in regard to food rations for detainees. The top leadership of the BJMP centralizes and controls practically everything in regard to the food rations — from the menu to the budgetting and purchase of all food materials — in practically all BJMP jails, including SICA 1 Jail.”
The whole set up has been “perfected” by the top BJMP leadership for plunder — made all the more easier as the victims are held in their hands, and are very vulnerable to reprisals.
The revalations before the public and charges in court made by J/Insp. Bautista would, however, be of very great help.
We hope she would survive and we would see her succeed.
NDF peace consultants
and other political prisoners
detained at SICA 1 Jail,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City
Alan Jazmines
Emeterio Antalan
Leopoldo Caloza
Tirso Alcantara
(9 May 2015)