Monday, July 9, 2007

City Hall mulls jailbreak inquiry

RESPONDING to security concerns from alarmed residents, a City Council committee will hold an inquiry into last week's bloody jailbreak at the Cagayan de Oro City jail. Ian Mark Nacaya, chairman of the police and public safety committee, said they would also invite Police Director Aurelio Trampe to brief the committee on the state of peace and order in the city this Wednesday.

The development came even as an inmate who landed in the hospital as a result of the failed jailbreak died last Saturday noon at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). Rogelio Paguya expired after his lungs, punctured by the bullets that hit them, failed to sustain him.

Paguya was also wounded in other vital organs in last Thursday afternoon's jailbreak. The police official is expected to explain the successive cases of car thefts and robberies in the past weeks, Nacaya said, admitting the recent surge of criminal activities has already caused public alarm. While he believes that crimes are part and parcel of a growing city, the councilor stressed that this do not absolve the police from taking responsibilities. Since assuming his position early last year, Trampe had been summoned several times in the City Council for crime-related inquiries.

At one point, several councilors in the 14th City Council had asked for his removal. "If the committee finds that replacing Director Trampe is necessary, then it will not hesitate to recommend so," Nacaya said. "But of course, we have to hear Director Trampe's explanation before the committee can recommend anything." The same fate awaits Lumbia jail officials, where a foiled jailbreak last Thursday left three inmates dead. Staging a mock fight, nine inmates jumped from one of the prison's towers into liberty after distracting the jail guards.

Although three of the would-be escapees were killed by pursuing authorities--and the rest recovered, residents surrounding the prison facility were horrified at the thought of prisoners invading their homes. "The neighboring residents aired concerns on their safety with the kind of security we have at Lumbia Jail. We want to know from the jail officials what really happened," the councilor said. If the committee finds that the jail officials had been remiss in their job, Nacaya said they would recommend their relief

No comments: