“Ng-Bonto did not only violate the rights of political prisoners at SICA-1 Camp Bagong Diwa but has also put their lives at risk.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — The jail warden of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology – Special Intensive Care Area is facing another complaint for allegedly violating the rights of striking political prisoners during the Papal visit in January.
Lawyers from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and Public Interest Law Center filed the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on Feb. 12.
Jail Inspector Michelle Ng Bonto, the complaint read, violated Republic Act No. 7438 or an Act Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained and Under Custodial Investigation As Well as the Duties of the Arresting, Detaining and Investigating Officers and Providing Penalties for Violation.
Other charges include: Gross Misconduct, Grave Abuse of Authority, Gross Oppression and Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer.
The complaint stipulated that Bonto denied the rights of political detainees to meet their counsels, members of their immediate family, medical doctors and human rights workers.
“Ng-Bonto did not only violate the rights of political prisoners at SICA-1 Camp Bagong Diwa but has also put their lives at risk. Warden Ng-Bonto and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology cannot simply disregard the law at their pleasure,” Marie Hilao Enriquez, chairperson of human rights group Karapatan, said.
An earlier complaint was filed against Bonto before the Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 266 and 277 on Jan. 27.
In a joint statement, lawyers Edre Olalia and Ephraim Cortez of the NUPL said such “arrogant, ruthless and scheming acts” of the warden was committed at the time when “the good Pope was in town, showering one and all — the pious and the temporarily pious alike — with mercy and compassion.”
“It is time that Warden Bonto face the court,” Enriquez said.