By Jeffrey C. Tiangco
RELATIVES of inmates killed in the explosion inside the office of Supt. Gerald Bantag, the relieved jail warden of Paranaque City jail, are protesting his apparent “promotion” when he was designated as the new Manila City Jail warden effective last Friday.
“Ano na po ang nangyari sa kaso sa pagpatay sa aking asawa at bakit napaganda pa ang puwesto ni Supt. Bantag sa halip na kasuhan at sibakin ito?” the wife of one of the inmates who died in the blast, asked.
The wife who feared for her life requested not to be identified. She aired her concern over the alleged connection of Bantag with Interior Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno and National Capital Region Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Director Serafin Barreto.
“Hindi pa nga nabibigyan ng katarungan ng pagkamatay ng asawa ko e napaganda pa ang puwesto nitong si Bantag na ngayon e nagsasaya na,” the wife added.
Relatives of inmates killed in the Paranaque City jail explosion said what happened in Paranaque jail may also take place in Manila City jail.
Some BJMP jail wardens also decried the apparent strong connection of Bantag whom they said was usually seen frequenting Barreto’s office.
Sought for comment, Senior Supt. Jose Carumba, chief of Paranaque City police, admitted that police are still waiting for the affidavit of Bantag and SJO1 Ricardo Zulleta and JO2 Pascua who allegedly killed the inmates after a shootout.
Carumba said that while the Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO) of Southern Police District has furnished police with copies of paraffin and ballistic text results, they are still waiting for SOCO to submit its investigation report on the incident.
“Yun sa paraffin test sa mga biktim at ballistic test sa baril ng dalawang jail officer pa lamang ang hawak naming resulta, pero yun sa mga inmates na kung saan direksyon ang mga tama nito sa katawan na ikinamatay ng mga ito ay wala pang resultang ibinibigay at kung sa baril ba o sa granada ang ikinasawi ng mga ito” Carumba said.
Last August 11, ten drug inmates, including two suspected Chinese drug lords, identified as Jacky Huang, Yonghan Cai, Waren Manampen, Ronald Domdom, Rodel Domdom, Danilo Pineda, Joseph Villasor, Oliver Sarreal, Jeremy Flores and Jonathan Ilas, died in the explosion that took place inside Bantag’s office.
Reports said the inmates had sought a dialogue with Bantag, who arrived late, and then an explosion occurred for still unclear reason.
BJMP investigators said a shootout took place between jail guards following the explosion which reportedly injured Bantag.
The report also alleged that the inmates managed to sneak in an explosive and guns when they entered Bantag’s office.