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39 injured in Manila City Jail noise barrage

Thirty five inmates and four jailguards of the Manila City Jail were injured on Thursday after a noise barrage was held against Jail Warden Supt. Gerald Bantag.

A report of GMA News' Susan Enriquez on "24 Oras" said members of Batang City Jail staged the noise barrage in protest of Bantag's orders to gather drug suspects in one dormitory. As part of the protest, some inmates painted their roof with the sign "Patalsikin wi Warden."

Bantag said only Batang City Jail resisted the ongoing transfer of inmates charged with drug-related cases, which was implemented to prevent cover-ups.

"Ang hindi lang sumunod dito ay yung Batang City Jail dahil ang plano kasi dito, at kasalukuyang ginagawa, ongoing po ang transfer ng mga may drug-related cases. Sine-separate natin yung drug-related cases sa ibang dorm, at yung non-drug sa ibang dorm din," Bantag said, adding they will also disband prison gangs.

"Ngayon, inumpisahan na rin po natin ang pagbuwag sa mga pangkat," the warden added.

Bantag was forced to fire two warning shots using rubber bullets as the inmates start throwing things at the jail guards.

"Nagpaputok ako. Parang rabbit yan e, para ma-scare ba. Scare tactic lang naman yan. Kung talagang may baril siyempre didipensahan natin," Bantag said.

Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team also responded to augment the security force of the Manila City Jail.

After the incident, Bantag suspended the visitation rights of the inmates.

In a cellphone video obtained by GMA News, several inmates were seen lying on the cement floor while one jailguard was seen ordering inmates to get off the roof while others were seen resisting orders.

Meanwhile, the report said Bantag called the gang leaders of the penitentiary saying the segregation of inmates would still push through despite the noise barrage.

"Kung yun ang magiging dahilan para sa pagbabago, sang-ayon po kami," Sputnik Gang leader Larry Mendiola replied.

Manila City Jail currently houses around 4,000 inmates, 2,000 of them with links to illegal drugs, well above its 1,000-inmate capacity.

Enriquez added that through a phone interview, Records chief Jail Senior Insp. Antonio Gaya-gaya said at least 26 inmates, who were found to have started the noise barrage, have been transferred to the Manila City Jail extension office in Taguig City.   — Joseph Tristan Roxas/BAP, GMA News