REVENGE revelations made by relatives of Angelito Cabalquinto, the inmate who died recently at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), have given rise to two important concerns.

This is aside from questions surrounding his death.

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Acting jail warden Alito Gabuya claimed Angelito merely lost his balance and hit his head on something hard, causing his death. But Angelina Cabalquinto, Angelito’s sister, suspected his brother was mauled.

Angelina was the one who revealed Angelito’s worries prior to his death. “Sige kagubot” was supposedly the inmate’s description of life inside CPDRC---which is a separate concern in itself.

The other issue was raised by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia herself.

She had ordered an investigation into reports that a jail inmate forced his fellow prisoners to join practices for the shows that the world-renowned dancing inmates present.


The worst thing to happen in a walled and congested place like the CPDRC is for discipline to break down there and anarchy to reign. It’s as bad as when jail management physically harms inmates to discipline them.

What makes anarchy in a jail setup more dangerous is the shroud of secrecy blanketing the facility. It allows the rogue jailers or inmates to do their thing without interference from outside authorities.

Usually, it is only after an inmate dies that the situation inside a jail is noticed, and by that time the reaction is already too late.

‘Forced to dance’

Reports of inmates being forced to participate in dance presentations started by former Capitol consultant Byron Garcia, on the other hand, contradict the very essence of the said activity.

The dance routines, before these became famous worldwide, were introduced in CPDRC as part of the effort to rehabilitate the inmates. The presentations, therefore, were not ends in themselves but were means to an end.

Coercion and physical abuse are not part of the equation.

Garcia is still waiting for the result of an investigation conducted by newly designated Capitol consultant Lito Astillero on the situation inside the jail.

The hope is that the probers are honest and won’t sweep the problem under the rug.