We, political detainees at the Special Intensive Care Area (SICA1) Jail, watched with utter disgust, the last two days, repeated televised shots of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) forces’ brutal fascist reaction to the Makati City Jail inmates’ noise barrage. The noise barrage was in protest of, accordingly, the jail authorities’ role there as the ones principally responsible for the entry and proliferation of illegal drugs inside prison and for the poor food rations being given them by the jail authorities.
The jail anomalies being protested by the Makati City Jail inmates are not at all new to us.
We have long been raising the issue of proliferation of illegal drugs in prison, and also the tolerated continuing transactions between big-time drug suppliers even in jails and their pushers outside… all these, unfettered by the iron bars of prison.
We have also long been raising the issue of low budget allocation for food and very poor food rations in jails. The issue is practically a universal issue in all jails in the country.
Makati City Jail inmates’ food rations are supposed to be a lot better than what we are given as national jail inmates, and also what other inmates are being given in most other jails in the country. This is because Metro Manila city governments and other local governments in the country allocate a minimum of P20 up to P50 per inmate per day — in addition to the nationally allocated P50 per inmate per day — for the food budget in the jails within their jurisdiction. The Makati City Jail, thus, has a food budget double the P50 worth of food rations per inmate per day, that we are theoretically supposed to receive here at the SICA1 Jail. Yet, the Makati City Jail inmates are complaining about the poor food rations being given to them.
A unique stark contrast was the case of the Bataan Provincial Jail, where the Warden, Jail Inspector Angelina Bautista, took the side of the inmates, and raised the issue of the BJMP national leadership’s anomalies in regard to the BJMP’s food budget for the Bataan Provincial Jail inmates. This, as the BJMP was no longer allocating BJMP funds for it — and wanted the Bataan Provincial Jail to just use, instead, the allocation of the local government, even if the latter was meant only as an addition to the BJMP’s food budget for the inmates. Bataan Provincial Jail Warden Bautista filed before the Ombudsman an administrative case on the issue against the BJMP national leadership, then held by National Director Diony Mamaril.
We, political detainees at the SICA1 Jail, suffered much in sympathy as we saw on TV how the jail authorities continued to beat up the protesting inmates there, who then were already under control, were only squatting on the floor and were entirely defenseless. Some were crippled, and one of them even died, because of the beatings.
The Makati City Jail inmates have raised valid issues in their protest. But, instead of intently listening to and resolving those issues, the jail authorities there resorted to brutal fascist suppression of the noise barrage. They also resorted to the immediate transfer here, the SICA 1 Jail, of the suspected leaders of the protest by the Makati City Jail inmates.
The fascist reaction to the inmates’ valid complaints should be fully investigated, condemned and rectified, for being a brutal and callous effort to cover up the gross anomalies being exposed by the jail inmates.
It should be the anomalous and fascist jailors and their higher ups who should be punished for their criminal anomalies and fascist acts, and not the inmates — especially the innocent victims of trumped-up charges — who have only been asserting their legal and human rights.
National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultants
and other political prisoners at the SICA1 Jail,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan,
(Match 11, 2016)