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Mayor Regencia
By Frank E. Dosdos, Jr.
Iligan City, Philippines

The Warden of Iligan City Jail, JCI Omar Amper Jalagat failed to transfer Inmate Mayor Celso G. Regencia from the City Jail of Iligan to the Quezon City Jail as ordered by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 77, Quezon City on July 11, 2016.

In compliance with the said Court Order Chief Superintendent Diogracias C. Tapayan, Officer–In-Charge Jail Superintendent of BJMP, in his Memorandum dated July 13, 2016, directed Leo Pajo Baldon, OIC Jail Sr. Superintendent, BJMP Region 10 to coordinate with the Jail Warden of Iligan City to bring the said inmate to Quezon City Jail Annex, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City before August 13, 2016.

On August 12, 2016, a contingent of Riot Policemen from PNP Region 10 arrived at the vicinity of Iligan City Jail purportedly to assist the BJMP in transferring the said Inmate.

It appears, however, that the City Warden was not prepared to act.

Reporters saw that the said PNP contingent was met by Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz and after a short while it turned back to where it came from.

It was observed that since August 9, supporters of the said inmate had begun massing at the road in front of the City Jail.

On August 12, the crowd had become too big as Roman Catholic Parish Priest of Suarez, Iligan City Fr. Nasser Zaragoza and Radioman Jun Bacus called over the radio on people to come and prevent the transfer of the said inmate.

It was learned that casual employees of the City government were ordered by the City Mayor’s Office to come and join the crowd at the City Jail.

It was also learned that the Defence Panel of the said inmate had pending motions in Court and it wants those resolved first before the accused could be moved.

As of August 12, the BJMP has not received any order subsequent to that issued on July 11, 2016.

In the Chief Superintendent’s letter of July 13, the Sr. Jail Superintendent of BJMP Region 10 was ordered to prepare an OPLAN for the transfer of the said Inmate.

It was also emphasized that “if the Warden failed to transfer Regencia prior to the inmate’s scheduled hearing such would constitute neglect of duty under the BJMP Administrative Machinery and other appropriate sanction to be imposed by the Presiding Judge for non-compliance of the Court Order.” tnrs
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