By Chito Chavez
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said its men should be referred to as jail officers instead of police officers to prevent confusion in matters related to the supervision of the country’s jail facilities.
BJMP spokesman Senior Inspector Xavier Solda also stressed the use of the term jail officers and not jail guards as stated in Chapter 5 Section 64 of Republic Act 6975 on the law governing the BJMP.
He explained that if any incident occurred at the PNP locked-up facilities, the police officers should be held responsible and not the jail officers since it is out of the BJMP’s jurisdiction.
The BJMP spokesman clarified that not all jail facilities are under the care of the BJMP citing that the Bureau of Corrections (BOC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are manning separate prison cells.
Convicted men serve their sentence at the BOC while suspects are initially placed at the PNP jail facilities before their transfer to the BJMP supervised prison cells.
Solda said that the explanation was made to quash beliefs that the BJMP is the sole agency manning the country’s jail facilities.
In a recent incident, the BJMP was criticized over its supposed ineptness during the jailbreak at prison cells under the Bacoor City Police in Cavite.
On Friday, 23 detainees escaped from the police custodial center in Barangay Talaba 4 at about 4:30 p.m.
Reports disclosed that non-uniformed police personnel Jeremiah Perez was about to take the mugshot of inmate Angel Eusebio when the other inmates forced open the cell’s gate and overwhelmed the jail guard.
Due to the jailbreak, eight jail guards assigned in the jail facility were relieved as an intense probe is being conducted to determine any possible lapses.
The police said that most of the fugitives are facing drug and robbery charges as none of them can be considered high value targets.