MANILA - A ranking official of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) has been relieved of his post following the escape of 5 inmates from the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) since the assumption of new BuCor Director Jesus Bucayu last March 19.
Ordered relieved is the officer-in-charge of the NBP Minimum Security Compound, Security Officer 1 Alfredo Devaras, Jr. The prison guards manning the compound at the time have also been relieved.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima confirmed that 3 inmates escaped from the NBP Minimum Security Compound, and 2 from the Davao Prison and Penal Farm Minimum Security Compound since the said date.
In a report to De Lima, Bucayu identified the escapees as the following:
- Jovani Misa (NBP inmate), escaped: March 19
- Eduardo Brosas (NBP inmate), escaped: March 22
- Jomari Fortuna (NBP inmate), escaped: April 16
- Junlee Villaren (Davao Prison and Penal Farm inmate), escaped: March 19
- Brayan Servano (Davao Prison and Penal Farm inmate), escaped: March 23
Villaren was recovered on March 21. Recovery efforts are ongoing for the 4 others.
"Living out" privilege suspended again
De Lima said several measures were instituted following these incidents.
"Probe already ordered by Dir. Bucayu... Other measures undertaken: (1) increased the number of prison guards; (2) suspended the implementation of the 'living out' scheme; (3) came out with work plan to enhance the fences in the NBP Minimum Security Compounds; and (4) reorganized the Fugitive Recovery Unit," she said.
In his report, Bucayu said that escape among inmates is prevalent among those "who are either kept in custody at Minimum Security Camp of the National Bilibid Prisons or assigned a colony status at different colonies nationwide."
"These inmates have almost served their sentences with few months left prior to their final release from the national penitentiary. As such, they are given work assignments that require them to move freely around the camp while doing tasks as orderly, farm worker, or messenger with less supervision from their custodian," Bucayu said.
In a recent survey conducted by the BuCor, Bucayu said the following are the factors that lead inmates to attempt to escape:
1. inmate's spouse decides to leave relationship and go with another partner;
2. financial problems besetting family members;
3. a dying family member;
4. threat from fellow inmate(s); and
5. frustration over confusions involving prison records.