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Samar provincial jail Warden denies rationing “dead meat” to inmates

Rommel L. Rutor (The Freeman) - February 12, 2016 - 9:00am

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — In response to allegations that “dead meat” (or meat from an already dead swine or sow), was made as food ration to about 240 inmates of the Samar Provincial Jail in this city, Warden Victor Templonuevo yesterday declared this claim as false.

Templonuevo, however, admitted that the sow was sick when slaughtered in January 16, and not dead as alleged by the inmates.

“I was told by the caretaker that one of our swine had ceased eating for two days, and even if this had farrows (newborn pigs), I immediately instructed the caretaker to slaughter it and distribute the meat to the inmates as their food ration that day. But it (swine) was not dead at the time it was slaughtered,” Templonuevo explained. 

The allegations were contained in a signed letter sent to the local media last week, claiming that a dead swine was slaughtered, and the so-called “double dead meat” was given to the inmates.

“Yes we are prisoners here, but we are not cannibals,” an inmate, who requested not to be identified for security reasons, told The Freeman.

The inmate’s allegation also pointed out that the P50 food budget per prisoner was not being expended accordingly and, most of the time, the prisoners are being allegedly short-changed in their daily food ration.

“Kaagsuban, sapsap, tamban, ti-aw, and other kinds of small fish are the inmates’ food ration, plus about P10 worth of NFA rice. There were claims of increase in our food allotment, but then it seemed nothing had changed in our kind of food,” added the inmate, talking in the local dialect.

Templonuevo, however, clarified that fish ration is being distributed this time, with add-ons such as either eggs, hotdogs and noodles, as a result of the additional budget provided for by the provincial government recently.

“They (inmates) only mentioned the fish, without saying there were other side dishes. If we are distributing fish, any excess from the daily budget is being saved and being added up to the next regular daily budget when we are distributing meat, which is about twice a week,” Templonuevo said.

The warden said the allocation for food for the provincial jail, with 240 inmates, is about P8,000, said the warden, adding that there were days in a week—when inmates are given either pork or chicken or beef—that the jail has to spend between P10,000 and P12,000, an amount that is more than the daily food budget.

“I have all the official receipts of these purchases, and these are being audited every 15 days by the provincial accountant. How can they (inmates) accuse me of stealing their food budget,” he said.

“There was no truth to the issue of the ‘dead meat,’ and definitely the accusation of not expending the whole food budget is false. The inmates have to know that any excess in fish purchase, which is cheaper than purchasing meats, is being added to the amount during days when they are given meat,” Templonuevo added. (FREEMAN)

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