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PIA Press Release

Tacloban City jail commotion kills 1 inmate

Tacloban City (October 31) -- A ten-minute disturbance at the Tacloban City Jail on Saturday night resulted in the killing of one inmate and the hurting of two others. This was learned from Superintendent Edwin Riel of the Tacloban City Jail who clarified that what happened was not really a riot but just a commotion caused by the misunderstanding of two inmates.

Inspector Riel identified the dead inmate as Abdulah Noor, 29, a resident of Marawi City jailed for illegal possession of prohibited drugs, and a member of the Batang Leyte Samar and the two wounded inmates as Arturo Delovejes and Arnel Rivas, both of Batang Leyte Samar also.

Riel said that the commotion took place after 8:00 o'clock in the evening while the inmates are having a gathering in connection with the culminating activities for the National Correctional Consciousness Month.

The inmates earlier had friendly basketball and volleyball games. In the closing ceremonies, a program and a singing contest took place before the inmates partook of the food that was prepared for them.

Inspector Riel said that reports gathered indicated that Noor had a misunderstanding with a certain Wendel Po of the Batang City Jail. In the course of the altercation, the other inmates tried to appease the two and in the end three were wounded.

Initial investigations showed that a certain Randolph Bermog,a robbery suspect who is a member of the Batang City Jail got hold of an improvised pointed weapon and fatally stabbed Noor. A case is now being filed at the Philippine National Police against Bermog, Inspector Riel informed.

In fairness to the 707 inmates, 300 plus of who belong to the Batang Leyte Samar and 200 plus to the Batang City Jail, Inspector Riel said that the inmates were immediately pacified and controlled when the jail guards responded.

He said that he has temporarily separated the two groups because of the tension which brewed when the inmates learned that one of them died. He said he assigned the Batang City Jail at the new building while the Batang Leyte Samar is now occupying the old building.

Asked on the congestion of inmates, Superintendent Riel lamented the fact that the City Jail, if the United Nations standard which is 3 square meters per inmate, only 150 inmates will be accommodated. If double bunks are used, only 300 inmates are accommodated. This means he said that the congestion is more than 100 percent at the City Jail. He expressed optimism that the City government will soon take into consideration the plan that his office has already submitted.

Superintendent Riel said that he will have a dialog with the two group when the tension have eased a bit because right now, there is still tension because of the death of Noor. These men are not difficult to talk to, he said, he is just waiting for a short time to cool off the tension. (PIA 8) [top]

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