AN inquiry into the suspension of jail visits and delays in the delivery of food to inmates of the Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation and Detention Center (CPDRC) may be in the offing.
Primo Cadampog, supervising investigator of the Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7), said three relatives of the inmates sought assistance from their office to look into the suspension.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia suspended jail visits and dance practices for the inmates after a near-riot last week.
Cadampog said the CHR-7 will have to coordinate with the Capitol, which has direct supervision over the CPDRC.
Arvin Odron, head of the CHR-7′s legal division, said the right to jail visitation is under the regulation of jail officials.
“If jail visitation has been regulated, that’s okay and reasonable,” Odron said.
But he said the CHR-7 still needs to investigate to verify the complaints of the relatives. Odron said policies inside the jail should be “rights based.” He said the inmates should also be served three meals a day.
Capitol consultant on jail matters Jose Marie Gastardo denied reports that inmates were starved after the near-riot last Friday.
He said there was just a delay in the delivery of their food since this was being done cell to cell.
The governor vowed to resume granting the privileges to inmates once they would learn to behave again. Rehearsals and monthly dance performances were also suspended in the wake of last Friday’s riot.
Detainee Carillo Baldueza was mobbed by inmates after he brandished an improvised ice pick.
Democrito Barcenas, a former rights lawyer, said it was unfair of the Capitol to punish all inmates due to Baldueza’s actions.
Barcenas, who serves as a director of the Philippine National Oil Co., said it would also be unfair for inmates to be deprived of visits from their families.
“If a few inmates violated jail regulations, they ought to be punished. But not all inmates. If all inmates were punished for the mistakes of a few of them, that would be unfair,” Barcenas said. /Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol