900 inmates of Kidapawan City jail end hunger strike over bad food, supply shortages
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato, Philippines — Nine hundred inmates of the Amas District Jail here ended their hunger strike Monday morning following talks with the North Cotabato’s provincial government over their complaints regarding prison conditions.
Jessie Ined, a representative of the office of Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza who met with the protesting inmates, said he would relay to the governor the prisoners’ complaints.
Prisoner Felix Capalla, who led the protest, said they have not been getting decent meals inside jail. He also complained about the insufficient supply of water and medicines, and alleged that their visitors were maltreated by the jail guards.
Insp. Greg Gregorio, deputy jail warden, denied the allegations.
Gregorio said the protest was initiated by Capalla, whose female visitor was recently denied entry to the jail for security reasons.
Capalla, a political prisoner, is an alleged member of the communist New People’s Army. He is facing multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges. He was arrested by government soldiers in June 2009.
Gregorio admitted that there have been inmates suffering from illnesses inside the jail facility, but they were sent to the hospital.
“It is the protocol of the bureau to wait for a court order before we allow inmates to go out of their cell for reasons like going to the hospital for a medical checkup,” he said.
Jay Apiag, spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan here, said they would ask the governor to investigate too allegations that the jail guards have been maltreating female inmates.
A week ago, Mendoza directed Chief Insp. Jesus Singson, the jail warden, to investigate reports of the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the prison facility.
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