Iligan detainees hold noise barrage to demand better conditions

ILIGAN CITY —– The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has granted the demand of some 65 detainees  who held a noise barrage Friday (November 27) at the city jail in Barangay Tipanoy calling on the jail management to hear their sentiments.

Visitors wait outside Iligan City Jail in Barangay Tipanoy morning after some inmates held a noise barrage to call attention to their demands from the management of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). (Divina M. Suson)

Capt. Royre Tabuclin, officer-in-charge of Iligan City Police Station (ICPS) 4, received a report around 2:00 p.m.  about the commotion and alleged hostage taking of fellow inmates.

The detainees used  metal objects to knock on the ceiling loudly and shouted “sayote”, (a vegetable pear). They were reportedly armed with sharp objects according to Tabuclin.

They were demanding the right foods every meal, be allowed to receive foods from their family, be given back the visiting rights, allow the sales of cigarettes, worth P17,000 and  just treatment by the jail personnel towards the inmates.

During a press briefing last October, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 10 Director Arnel Agabe said the regional office of the BJMP implemented total lockdown on all its facilities in Northern Mindanao as measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the jails.

Visiting hours are temporarily suspended and have not yet been lifted. 

“They expressed disatisfaction with the meals served to them because they are allegedly not decent meals. They are always served with sayote with not enough spices and ingredients. The money they were asking was returned to them after the regional director of the BJMP arrived and led the negotiation. It was not clear how the jail personnel treated them that caused their anger,” Tabuclin said.

The 65 inmates who joined the noise barrage were in one building where news inmates are being quarantined for 14 days before they are assigned to their cells.

It is also the building where violators of the jail policy were isolated.

Tacuclin clarified there was no hostage taking occured because the inmates were faking it to get attention.
“The fellow inmate reported being hostaged was actually part of the negotiation,” Tabuclin said.