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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 13, 2013
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Inmates riot over bad food
BY NIDA BUENAFE & ADRIAN NEMES III

The protest being waged by the 438 inmates at the Negros Occidental District Jail in Brgy. Tabunan, Bago City, for several days now reportedly escalated into a riot yesterday.

Gregorio Sanoy, leader of the inmates, said they are complaining about the rice and fish served to them the other night that they claimed had an awful smell.

Sanoy said this has been their ongoing plight since the BJMP took over the facility. He said they deserve to be treated as human beings, and some of them have not been meted jail terms yet.

He said they asked to be interviewed by the media but the NOPJ management did not allow it for security reasons. The NOPJ has requested for two fire trucks in case the situation worsens.

The situation normalized after the kitchen staff were told to cook fresh food for the inmates, who were also told that BJMP Regional Director, Senior Supt. Ignacio Pante, will meet with them today to hear their complaints.

Provincial Board Member Patrick Lacson also said he will look into the concerns of the inmates and will hold a dialog with the jail officers and their representatives today.

While there had always been some complaints about the operation of the district jail before, Lacson said the issues took a major turn after the memorandum of agreement for the two-year transition period between the BJMP and the provincial government ended in June this year.

Before the turnover of the jail management to the BJMP, the provincial government paid the salaries and benefits of the 21 jail guards assigned at the jail, as well as for the maintenance of the facility and the food allowances of the inmates.*NAB/APN

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