Jail warden suspended, illegal activities rampant

Josefina Lacdang, warden Sorsogon Provincial Jail. PHOTO BY BicolToday.com
Josefina Lacdang, warden Sorsogon Provincial Jail. PHOTO BY BicolToday.com

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/10-March-12) – The death of an inmate could have been avoided if strict jail policies were implemented by Provincial Jail Warden Josefina Lacdang, a retired police major, referring to the abuses and irregularities committed inside the jail house by her trustees, this was revealed by sixty three Sputnik Gang members incarcerated inmates who signed a letter addressed to Governor Raul Lee detailing the illegal activities in the facility.

In an inhuman order, the warden ordered them locked-up inside a cramped cell intended for twenty people cancelling the privileges and disregarding personal health and hygiene after the stabbing to death of inmate chairman Rommel Lanuza.

The incident on February 26 cause the preventive suspension of Lacdang, four jail guards and three others without pay for ninety days pending conclusion of the investigation by the investigative team created by the governor to dig deeper and ferret out the truth. The preventive suspension was signed by Governor Lee three days after the incident.

The memo by the governor on March 1 considered the explanation of Lacdang, et. al.as unsatisfactory, and designating Rufino Escote the assistant of the warden, as officer in-charge.

In the appended reply to the memorandum of the governor, the incident and investigation report of the warden bore holes of cover-ups and was not a factual narration of the case for it contradicted information by the governors staff in an interview with other inmates and jail personnel.

Never was it mentioned that there was a free flow of alcohol inside the jail supervise by the Lanuza, were a bottle of local brand whisky cost one hundred fifty pesos or the common knowledge that “pera padala” is a booming business, earning a hundred pesos for every one thousand remittance.

Another revelation was the open betting for small town lottery which was supervise by selected inmates.

It was never revealed that certain inmates are made to crawl and roll-over in open court under the sun for simple infraction of rules. That solicitude of cash or materials things by some of the jail personnel is a practice that was never stop by the warden, revealed by an insider.

One revelation points an accusing finger to Lacdang that she solicited the help of Lanuza for monetary gains and from it Lanuza was greasing out his fellow inmates.

Lanuza’s influence inside the jail is without bounds, in the surface he is a man of few words, commands his troops but has a venom that only few few crosses as revealed by a governor staff involve in the preliminary investigation.

One of the guards who refused to be identified said to this writer that when Lanuza assumed the inmate chairmanship, Lacdang gave an instruction that he must implement whatever is necessary to make the place peaceful, such authority the jail guard said lead to abuse then illegal activities followed, which the warden turned a blind eye.

Lacdang preventive suspension was based on Section 19, Rule II of the Civil Service Commission Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases wherein manifestation can be received by the investigating panel.

The composition of the investigating team will be chaired by Sanggunian Panlalalwigan Secretary, the HRMO and the Chief of Staff of the Governor.

The SP secretary and the HRMO as of this writing has yet to accept their designation. The other suspended jail personnel are PG1 Roniel Frayna. Alvin Orfanel, Sergio Hantid, Clodualdo Recel, S/A Virgilio Dato, Ramir Cardeño and Diosdado Arevalo.

The dead inmate influence is something for even this writer witnessed on many occasions that he was roaming outside without an escort while serving his sentence for illegal possession of firearm.

He was one of the jail untouchables.

He is to serve another sentence for robbery in another facility. BicolToday.com

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