Investigator:    “Bai, nabalitaan mo ba na may dinukot na preso sa loob ng bilangguan?”

Inmate:  “Ha?!! Ano po yun Sir?   Kailan po nangyari  yan?  Wala pong ganyan.”

Investigator:  “Eh, ano ba ang totoo?”

Inmate:  “Puede po siguro na merong preso sa loob ng bilanguan na dinukutan ng kapwa niya!”




August 16, 2012 inmate Rolito Go was declared missing.  He was last seen in the morning in the prison chapel where he was assigned as worker but he failed to report in the afternoon head count.  Evening came but Go was still nowhere.  The next day, his family came to NBP offices to report that Go was abducted by unknown persons.




The entire law enforcement apparatus of government was thrown into a tailspin.  The prison leadership was meticulously reviewing its procedures, details on how it happened.  For the prison administration, it was plain escape.  For the rest of the government machinery, it was a case of a missing person as yet to be determined on the status whether it was a case of kidnapping, escaping, abduction or any related incident.  Media and the public in general were speculating as to what happened.  Media had splayed on news their take on Go’s situation.




Earlier on, Rolito Go was already featured in an expose that would rival a fellow prisoner—Leviste, in terms of receiving preferred treatment.  Leviste would be chastised for leaving the prison reservation and the prison leadership—Gen Ernesto Diokno, a kindly officer and gentleman—would get the brunt for such misdeed.  He resigned and several personnel were charged administratively.




Rolito Go would have been sent back of the maximum security camp but later would be reassigned back and his minimum security category restored.  Accordingly, Go was sick and qualified for the minimum security status.  Of course, Go, while sick, was a high profile prisoner and would require a higher classification status.  His work status was eventually restored and it would prove to be the making of a potential scandal.  Two custodial officers were relieved when Go went missing for a day.




Under prison rules, if a prisoner cannot be located within 24 hours, a status report on the missing person is immediately reported.  If the prisoner cannot be accounted for after the period, then he is declared an escapee already.  A flash alarm sent to all law enforcement agencies.  There is no such incident as a prisoner being kidnapped or abducted.  Kidnapping presupposes abduction for purposes of obtaining custody.  Kidnapping is therefore applicable to any freeman only.  A person is kidnapped to be held or detained against his will.  If a prisoner is kidnapped, then the reverse is obtained.  Under this awkward situation, he is abducted to join the free community, unless the one who kidnapped the prisoner is also a prisoner himself.



What is perplexing and unfortunate in the equation for determining responsibility is the effect on the administrator.  Prison officers are guided through policies enunciated from the top.  If the prison officer errs, he gets the axe.  In prison, the organizational understanding on policy and implementation are lost in the course of application.  Politics and intrigues, intramurals and factional rivalries get into the picture.  Delineation of proper division is lost in the maze.  Everybody gets the blame and culpability is heaped on just everyone.  Worst, guilt is even presumed at the top as an expression of command responsibility.




Anybody assigned at the helm of prison would note that rules are oftentimes blurred by confusion.  This would force the leader/ administrator to micromanage or track things up by hand.  This is where the critical part of administration comes into light.  If the organization is not up to the level of responsiveness, then faults would explode and the one on top is readily to be blamed.  If the administrator on the other hand allows incompetence or merely ignores tell tale signs of ineptitude, then nothing is done, no accomplishment performed and service merely proceeds  with inefficiency.




There is no middle ground in prison administration.  It is never to be seen as an ordinary function.  Prison work means control.  And every rule should revolve and gyrate within its ambit.  Straying outside the mode of control is losing ground.  Events like escaping unnoticed, being lured into abduction or plainly allowed or tolerated to abuse and be abused are symptoms of losing control.  These indicate the need for a revamp in the organization.  Not from the top but from the middle layer down the ground.  But the one on top should have a clear understanding of control as a vital element in supervising the prison workforce.




It is correctly moved that a prison road map has already been formulated and has charted this situation towards a meaningful policy on control.  But unfortunately, events would conspire and stall what should have been pursued to bring about positive change in the prison service. Now, it is back to board one.




About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on August 16, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. If there is anyone who would mercilessly criticize BUCOR or its administrators, then I would tell him..OK wise guy.. why don’t you be our Director and see for yourself how things are done here…stay here even for a week or a month…and then tell us..honestly and with conviction. “.It’s easy to manage a prisons with 36,000 hard core offenders”.


  2. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your website
    in my social networks!


Leave a Reply to ask.com Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: