MANILA - The warden of the Philippine National Police Custodial Center lost control of the flow of visitors during last Saturday's party for detained Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, a police spokesman said.
Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief of the PNP public information office, said Superintendent Mario Malana was administratively relieved after several of the senators' guests stayed in the custodial center until the wee hours of Sunday, in violation of visiting hours.
"He was administratively relieved from his position for probable cause for violating less grave neglect of duty. That is, failure to implement the rules and regulations of the custodial service as well as the failure to inform his superiors, higher headquarters of the incidents happening the weekend," he said in an interview with ANC's Headstart.
"He might not have been able to gain control of the situation. That is what we are looking to," he added.
Sindac said Malana's version of the events that took place last weekend will not be made public.
He also said the PNP is investigating all lapses and security breaches during the event.
Malana is now on floating status pending a hearing of his case.
If proven guilty of the charge, Malana faces a suspension of a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 59 days.
On Wednesday, 55 detainees of the custodial center signed a manifesto in defense of Malana, saying the latter had been running the custodial center well before the said celebration.
The detainees demanded that senators Estrada and Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla Jr., who are detained on plunder and graft charges in connection to the pork barrel scam, be transferred to another detention facility.
A second letter sent to the media by detainees Wilma and Benito Tiamzon, alleged top leaders of the New People's Army, said the celebration was approved by PNP higher-ups.
According to the legal service of human rights group Karapatan, the detainees have now been padlocked, with security tightened.
Sindac said while the PNP has no say in where the senators should be detained, their stay at the center is merely temporary.
He also said police authorities are looking into how the 55 other detainees were able to take concerted action and pass around a document objecting to the violations.
"The detainees in the Custodial Center are not supposed to be in contact with each other, particularly the different groups. Ideally, they are not supposed to be in communication with each other but they were able to pass around that manifesto. Concerted action, that is not supposed to happen inside the detention facility," he said.