More than a week since the power outage at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City due to a broken electric post, electricity has not been restored at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Compound despite the restoration of electricity in other parts of the camp.
The compound has more than 4,000 inmates detained in Metro Manila District Jail and Annex, Special Intensive Care Area 1 & 2 (SICA) and Manila City Jail Annex.
There are 25 political prisoners detained at SICA 1.
In a statement, political prisoners said that the Philippine National Police’s National Capital (NCRPO) and BJMP are denying accountability as who is responsible for the broken electric post.
“Hanggang ngayon walang malinaw na hakbangin laluna ang BJMP-NCR na siyang nangangasiwa sa compound. Isa pang idinadahilan nila ang diumano’y “walang pondo” para sa repair at maintenance ng kanilang mga pasilidad (Until now there is no clear steps especially from BJMP-NCR who manages the compound. They are using the excuse that there’s no funds for the repair and maintenance of their facilities),” said the political prisoners detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in a statement.
The political prisoners said that the most affected in the power outage are the detainees who are experiencing extreme heat.
“Labas pa dito ang nagsisiksikang mga bilanggo at kalunos-lunos na kalagayan sa loob (Aside from this, the detainees are too crowded and the conditions inside are inhumane),” said the political prisoners.
According to Belle Castillo, Ferdinand Castillo’s daughter who is one of the political prisoners detained at SICA 1, the situation inside the jail is worsening.
“Yung mga kasama niyang [Ferdinand Castillo] political prisoners ay lumalala ang kalagayan at sakit dahil nga walang kuryente at nahihirapan sila (The situation of my father’s comrade political prisoners’ health are getting worse because of the power outage and it is difficult for them),” said Belle.
Belle also expressed concern for her father who has a rheumatic heart disease.
“Dahil may karamdaman siya sa puso, paiba-iba rin ang kanyang blood pressure (Because he has a heart disease, his blood pressure is constantly changing),” said Belle.
“Ang panawagan na kaagad ibalik ang kuryente ay isa sa mga batayang pangangailangan ng sinuman. Marapat lamang na tugunan ito ng gobyerno at ahensya tulad ng BJMP na siyang may mandato para pangalagaan ang kalagayan at kagalingan naming mga bilanggo. Hinihiling din namin na bigyan kami ng araw-araw na update ng sitwasyon ng pag-aayos ng kuryente at inspeksyunin ang mga gusali at pasilidad ng BJMP nang sa gayon ay hindi na ito maulit (Our call for the immediate restoration of electricity is a basic need for anyone. It is only right that the government and agency like the BJMP who has the mandate to take care of the well-being of the inmates. We are asking that we be given an update everyday on the situation of the repair and inspect the buildings and facilities of the BJMP so that this may not happen again),” said the political prisoners.