By Joseph B.A. Marzan
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Region 6 on Wednesday revealed that their investigation into the August noise barrage by inmates of the Iloilo District Jail-Male Dormitory (IDJ-MD) in Pototan, Iloilo warranted charges against four officials, including its former warden.
BJMP-6 spokesperson Jairus Anthony Dogelio told Daily Guardian that they will be pursuing administrative charges of gross neglect of duty against former IDJ-MD warden, Jail Chief Inspector Norberto Miciano Jr., as well as the chief of security and two on-duty personnel.
Miciano was temporarily sacked from his post shortly after the regional office commenced an investigation into the noise barrage.
He noted that the findings of their investigation indicated that the main issue raised by the inmates was the lack of ample food supplies triggered by a meager budget and rising costs.
This prompted the August 24, 2022 noise barrage by some 100 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) who called for Miciano’s relief from his post.
“There is a prima facie case that there was neglect on their part on the personnel’s and the chief of security’s failure to monitor activities in the cells, and on [Miciano Jr.], his failure to properly supervise as well as [lack in] command responsibility,” Dogelio said in a phone interview.
The four personnel will still face BJMP-6’s regional hearing officers, who will determine if they are guilty of the charges and if they will be charged before the court.
“It will undergo the process of a case. Their side will be heard. It will depend on our [BJMP] regional hearing officers as to whether they would be guilty,” Dogelio said.
“These are administrative cases under our regional hearing office, pursuant to our disciplinary machinery. The cases will be filed against him, they will be heard, and that will be the time where the proper venue for their liability will be determined,” he added.
As of this writing, Dogelio likewise confirmed that Miciano is currently reporting to the BJMP-6’s regional office in Iloilo City, while the other three have been transferred to other BJMP detention centers.
On the current state of the detainees, Dogelio said they have reopened the IDJ Male Dormitory’s commissary, in collaboration with the PDLs, who will also have a say on the pricing of the goods based on Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) in stores outside the jail.
He also mentioned that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Iloilo has mulled providing rice subsidies to the IDJ after finding that their food budget may not be sufficient, too.