Nemia Ong Writes to Philippine President Aquino
The mother of a 40-year-old inmate has asked President Benigno S. Aquino III for help after finding out that her son got hurt in a “traditional hazing” inside the Cebu City Jail.
Nemia Ong wrote the President to report that her son Oliver was beaten allegedly 110 times by the “bastonero” of BC 45 inside his cell because they suspected him of being a police asset.
Ong said her son’s bruises and other injuries were so severe that he passed blood in his urine after the attack.
Cebu City Jail Warden Johason Calub, who met with Nemia at 9 a.m. Monday, assured he will not tolerate violence against any detainee.
”I cannot tolerate this. We will impose sanctions on those inmates proven to be responsible for the incident,” he said.
The law against hazing, Republic Act 8049, punishes only violent initiation rites used before a person is admitted to a fraternity or any other organization.
Under the law, hazing occurs when a “recruit, neophyte or applicant is placed in some embarrassing or humiliating situations such as forcing him to do menial, silly, foolish and other similar tasks or activities or otherwise subjecting him to physical or psychological suffering or injury.
The law does not consider it as hazing when tests are given to assess the “physical, mental and psychological fitness” of prospective soldiers and police personnel.
Nemia Ong said it took her over one month to decide whether or not to write the President to inform him of what happened to her son.
She posted the letter last June 12.
Oliver is detained for a charge of allegedly violating Section 5 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
”My heart broke upon seeing the condition of my son. This cannot be. This has to be stopped,” she said.
But she stressed her intention was not to condemn the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). She just wants President Aquino to intervene in the matter.
”I don’t wish to put the BJMP in a bad light, but to ensure that my son will be protected from the leaders of that cell,” she said.
The Cebu City Jail is “overflowing” with more than 2,000 inmates.
Jail security officers said they cannot monitor everything that goes on inside the cells.
Calub said the bureau has a matrix in place that defines the disciplinary action for each type of misconduct.