Reports of ‘hostage-taking’ at Quezon jail denied by authorities
LUCENA CITY, Philippines — At least 40 wives and children of inmates at the Quezon provincial jail here were forced to stay overnight inside prison cells after jail guards locked them in Saturday evening.
“We were forced to stay overnight after jail guards locked us inside,” a wife of a prisoner, who asked not to be named, told mediamen after she stepped out of the jail gate at around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Mediamen have been camping out at the gate of the jail compound since 2 p.m. after reports of a “hostage-taking situation” inside the jail spread out.
But the wives of the prisoners all insisted that there was no hostage taking.
“Our husbands will not take us as hostages. We were simply locked inside by the guards because of reasons that we don’t know,” another wife said.
Superintendent Felixberto Jagurin Jr., Quezon jail warden, denied that the prisoners’ families were locked inside.
“Binaligtad nila ang kuwento (They are changing the story),” he said over the phone.
According to the warden, some prisoners with visiting families had requested that their loved ones be allowed to sleep overnight.
He said the jail management granted the request on the condition that the visitors would leave at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the end of the official visiting hour.
“I was surprised when the police and soldiers arrived at the jail compound. Apparently, it was because of false media reports on hostage situation,” he said.
Supt. Allen Rae Co, Lucena police chief, said they were forced to go to the jail after some local media practitioners reported the supposed hostage situation.
He described the situation inside the jail as “normal” after inspecting the facility past 2 p.m.
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