3 casuals, 2 regular guards given the boot
True to an earlier vow by Gov. Edgar Chatto, a fact-finding body looking into the escape of three prisoners has shown the door to three province-paid jail guards in a move apparently aimed to deliver the chilling message that the top provincial jailer was serious in running the affairs of the Bohol District Jail. The penalty which constituted neglect of duty was meted out to the three casuals hired as jail guards while a personnel designated to man the prison closed circuit television monitors and two permanent jail officers were also given the boot in a sweeping decision made by the fact-finding team tasked to spearhead an inquiry over the escape of three inmates from their guarded facility. The fact finding committee (FFC) formed to investigate the escape rendered this decision after it found probable cause to link jail guards involvement leading to the escape of inmates Exequiel Aniscal, Bryan Ceniza and Mario Yllaya from the Bohol District Jail (BDJ) last May 17.
The committee led by Provincial Legal Officer Mitchell John Boiser along with lawyers Reynard Namocatcat, Paul Magallano, Board Member Vinzencio Arcamo and Glicerio Doloritos confirmed earlier reports that there was negligence on the part of the jail guards which made it possible for inmates to slip through the guards and to freedom in broad daylight. According to Boiser, the fact finding head, the committee, by virtue of an executive order issued by Gov. Chatto convened five days after the jail breakout, considering also that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) was on a separate investigation. It may be recalled that Bohol signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2008, relinquishing its management, supervision and control of the Bohol Detention and Rehabilitation Center (BDRC) to the BJMP.
The BDRC has long been renamed BDJ.
With the task at hand, the fact finding committee immediately recommended and was granted May 25, the temporary suspension of concerned jail guards to ensure fair investigations and so their influence could not affect the course of the inquiry. In its formal probe, in which they also took cognizance of their ocular inspections, initial and random interviews of jail personnel, review of documents and re-screening of the closed circuit television footages, the committee found several lapses. The FFC found that the jail lacks metal detectors at post 1, there is selective logging in of visitors, not synchronized logbook talies, (5 men noted in the premises of the jail early morning of May 17 were not reflected in logbook), no search on BDJ officials and visitors including vehicles, no visitor regulations for inmates, access of cellphones to inmates, delayed reaction of guards, lack of BJMP supervisors at some posts and guards were simply lousy in their duties. The FFC also found that there was no contingency pan followed during hot pursuit operations. After the investigations, the team finally recommends termination and filing of administrative charges for Neglect of Duty against provincial government paid Prison Guards (PG1) Fidel Castro, Jorge Lungay, Myrna Catayas and an un-named personnel tasked to man the CCTV monitors during that fateful day.
Moreover, the FFC also recommends filing of similar charges for Neglect of Duty against Senior Jail Officer (SJO3) Bompat and Jail Officer 1 Torreon. During the investigations, the committee found that jail holds no inventory of its official firearms and guards casually carried unlogged personal fire-arms inside jail premises. The Capitol formed team also found that the jail has no facility for visitors, the presence of livelihood opportunities became illegal business operations inside the jail while clear indication of poor jail management surfaced. The team also recommends to the BJMP the strict implementation of the BJMP guidelines on its search protocols for BDJ officials and visitors as well as for the jail managers to take appropriate action on issues raised during the fact-finding probe. As this came out, another investigation is initiated to uncover facts about how the BDJ has become a notorious drug den when an operation greyhound last week netted P300,000 worth of illegal drugs inside the facility.