Jail authorities lift ban on jail visits after inmates’ protest in Iligan City
ILIGAN CITY –– Jail authorities here have given in to the demands of protesting inmates to allow jail visits, which have been suspended because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Captain Royre Tabuclin, officer-in-charge of the Iligan City Police Station 4, told the Inquirer that local officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) promised to allow jail visits in December, after 65 inmates here held a noise barrage on Friday, Nov. 27, to demand improved jail treatment and lift the ban on visitors.
Tabuclin, who was part of the team that negotiated with the inmates, said starting at 2 p.m., the inmates banged metal objects on their ceiling and shouted “sayote,” a vegetable pear, which they claimed was their only food for weeks, without meat or spices.
The prisoners also asked jail officials to allow them to receive food sent by their families, a practice that had been suspended since the start of the pandemic.
Tabuclin said the jail management promised to grant the inmates’ demand.
Arnel Agabe, regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government, said in a virtual press briefing in October that the BJMP had implemented a total lockdown in all of its facilities in Northern Mindanao to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the jail.
The Inquirer tried to reach BJMP officials for comment, but calls were not returned.
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