Monday, August 6, 2007

Provincial Jail(s): Source of Cheap Labor

It's planting time again.. Thanks to the rain these past days.
Too, its time to see inmates from the Magbay Provincial Jail out of their prison cells mingling with the regular farmhands planting rice seedlings.
I understand they are plucked out of the jail to serve their prison officials' needs in their ricefields during this time. They are brought out of the jail in the morning, and are brought back before the sun sets. However, there are instances when they are made to spend the whole week in the fields of their prison guards.
Actually, even the judge of an RTC branch in San Jose is benefitting from this kind of arrangement. A television network in Manila caught the presence of an inmate in the residence of Judge Pagayatan some years ago when the rape and murder of Elizabeth Albacino took place (see the upcoming post on the case).
What this blog exposes is nothing new. For the people of Central, the sight of prisoners in the house of a prison guard is ordinary. And to have prisoners working in the ricefield of the same prison guard is not at all an abnormal practise.
Fact is, an administrative case was already filed against the prison guard before the provincial government. Thankfully, the committee that handled the case was very "compassionate," that after the accountability of the prison guard was established the latter was given a very soft slap in his butt for his punishment. The prison guard still works in the Magbay Provincial Jail.
If this practice does not stop, our Provincial Jail(s) will continue to become a source of cheap labor for prison officials.. And a source of peril for our communities.

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