Cebu inmate’s mother asks Aquino: Save my son-A A +A
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
CEBU CITY -- The mother of a 40-year-old inmate has asked President Benigno Aquino III for help after finding out that her son got hurt in a “traditional hazing” inside the Cebu City Jail.
Nemia Ong wrote the President to report that her son Oliver was beaten allegedly 110 times by the “bastonero of BC 45 inside his cell.” They suspected him of being a police asset.
Nemia said her son’s bruises and other injuries were so severe that he passed blood in his urine after the attack.
Cebu City Jail Warden Johnson Calub, who met with Nemia at 9 a.m. Monday, assured he will not tolerate violence against any detainee.
Oliver was not present during the meeting as he had to attend a hearing of his case in court.
“I cannot tolerate this,” the warden said. “We will impose sanctions on those inmates proven to be responsible for the incident.”
There is a law against hazing, Republic Act 8049, but it punishes only violent initiation rites used before a person admitted to a fraternity or any other organization.
Under the law, hazing occurs when a “recruit, neophyte or applicant (is placed) in some embarrassing or humiliating situations such as forcing him to do menial, silly, foolish and other similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury.”
The law does not consider it as hazing when tests are given to assess the “physical, mental and psychological fitness” of prospective soldiers and police personnel.
It took Nemia over one month to decide whether or not to write the President to inform him of what happened to her son.
She posted the letter last June 12.
Oliver is detained for a charge of allegedly violating Section 5 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Nemia, Ong’s mother, showed Sun.Star Cebu documents like a police blotter entry and a copy of the medical certificate from the doctor who examined Oliver.
“My heart broke upon seeing the condition of my son. This cannot be. This has to be stopped,” she said in an interview.
But she stressed her intention was not to condemn the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). She just wants President Aquino to intervene in the matter.
“Wala ko’y planong dauton ang BJMP. Kung dili ang mahatagan lang ug protection akong anak gikan sa mga dako-dako anang selda (I don’t wish to put the BJMP in a bad light, but to ensure that my son will be protected from the leaders of that cell),” she said.
With the Cebu City Jail “overflowing” with more than 2,000 inmates, the jail security officer admitted they cannot monitor everything that goes on inside the cells.
SJO4 Arnel Jayme said, “Lami ra man pod ang bantayan anang mga inmates. (The inmates always keep an eye on us.) As soon as we receive reports, we immediately investigate.”
Calub said the bureau has a matrix in place that defines the disciplinary action for each type of misconduct.
When he assumed office last December, Superintendent Calub’s standing order was to stop the circulation of drugs, hazing, riots and anything illegal inside the prison.
The warden immediately ordered his chief of security to place Oliver in a cell with maximum security to separate him from other inmates.
Calub also urged the mother, Nemia, to file a case against the inmate who beat up her son. He said the bureau is willing to support the Ongs in whatever legal action they may take. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 19, 2012.