Thoughts of these and the possibility of getting sexually molested or abused drove Mark Joseph Parreño, a 30-year-old gay, to be transferred to a different cell, away from his male inmates.
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Gay inmate requests for cell transfer
Jennifer Rendon (The Philippine Star) - August 21, 2019 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — For many, jails and prisons are cramped hellholes that offer health problems aside from getting picked on and even abused by other detainees or prisoners.

Thoughts of these and the possibility of getting sexually molested or abused drove Mark Joseph Parreño, a 30-year-old gay, to be transferred to a different cell, away from his male inmates.

Members of the City Police Station 1 arrested him during a drug bust last Monday at Barangay Rizal Estanzuela, after he was tagged as a newly identified drug peddler.

Police Lt. Col. Jonathan Pablito, station 1 chief, said yesterday that Parreño had requested to be separated from the cell for male inmates, citing his fears of what could happen to him.

He said Parreño, who recounted stories heard from other members of the LGBT+ community who were put behind bars, also asked to be given the privilege to use the comfort room for female inmates.

Parreño claimed that he wanted to avoid sexual molestation and abuse while waiting for his case to progress.

The police chief said he turned the request down because the comfort room for female inmates was not functioning.

“He’s doing well with six other (male) inmates,” Pablito said, adding that there was no incident where an LGBT+ member was harassed or molested because of sexual orientation.

He also said that, as part of their efforts, they would look for ways to separate an inmate who is identified as mentally ill or challenged and those with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) from other inmates.

As for Parreño, different challenges may come his way when his case progresses and gets transferred to another facility, including those controlled by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), which runs centers with hundreds and thousands of inmates.

JAIL MARK JOSEPH PARREñO
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