Detainees at North Cotabato provincial jail hold noise barrage
(Philstar.com) - September 23, 2016 - 3:55pm
NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — Detainees at the provincial jail in Kidapawan City padlocked the penitentiary's front gate for hours and staged a noise barrage in protest of strict detention rules.
 
The acting provincial jail warden, Superintendent Peter Bungat, Jr., told reporters the detainees were protesting a ban on visitors bringing in food and staying there beyond visiting hours.
 
Jail guards had earlier foiled several attempts by outsiders to smuggle in methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and deadly weapons hidden in food containers.
 
“There is an urgent need to enforce stricter security measures to forestall security problems we may possibly become so sorry about for doing nothing,” Bungat said.
 
The North Cotabato provincial jail in Kidapawan City was attacked twice in the past by gunmen who helped foreign-trained bombers implicated in deadly bombings in the province escape.
 
Guards recovered dozens of bladed weapons, improvised truncheons and mobile phones when the protest ended.
 
Bungat said there is a need to tighten security in the provincial jail, where there are high-profile detainees who have links to drug syndicates operating in the province.
 
“We cannot take chances. We have to be on full alert all the times,” Bungat said.
 
More than a dozen detainees are also either members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, or are related by blood to notorious Moro guerilla commanders.
 
The detainees eventually ended their protest action after having been assured by the jail management of action on their sentiments.

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