Detained NorthCot town mayor refuses to transfer prison cell

“That is an injustice on my part if they will still force me to vacate this place. I will stay here at the Kidapawan City PNP station, no matter what,” said Allado.

Allado is facing multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder charges, when he, together with his security escorts and armed village tanods, staged an ambush against a group of Maguindanaon Moro on board an Isuzu Elf Nov. 2 last year. The attack killed five Moro farmers and wounded seven others.

On Monday, the Regional Trial Court Branch 18 based in Midsayap, some 100 kilometers north of this city, ordered North Cotabato Provincial director Sr. Supt. Federico Dulay to commit Allado to the provincial jail in Barangay Amas.

The order, signed by Judge George Jabido, has resolved a motion to transfer the accused from his lockup cell to the provincial Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Amas.

But if Allado still resists, North Cotabato Governor Manny Piñol said in a text message that he has no other option but to send provincial jail guards “to bodily haul Allado from his prison cell and transfer him to Amas jail.”

The Kidapawan City PNP station has only three prison cells which can accommodate 18 inmates. As of now, at least 30 inmates are locked up in those cells. Allado is detained in an airconditioned room, which does not look like a prison cell.

When asked why Allado is treated this way, city police officers argued they were just given orders by the court to take custody of the accused. As to where Allado should be kept was not clear in the order they received on Nov. 3, a day after the alleged ambush took place.

City police director Chief Insp. Leo Ajero was quoted as saying that the police station can only lock inmates for only three days. “After that, if there is no case filed against those inmates, we have to release them from prison. But it’s a different case with Allado. He should be sent to the BJMP and not here. The court, however, ordered the Kidapawan City PNP to take custody of the accused,” explained Ajero.

Allado, represented by a battery of lawyers, filed on Tuesday a motion for reconsideration and cited failing health and threats on his security as reasons for filing such appeal.

When asked if the court will grant or turn down such appeal, Judge Jabido refused to comment.

Around 10 a.m. on Monday, armed men led by a certain Commander Fahron, former leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who used to operate in Banisilan, raided the house of Allado and exchanged fires with his security escorts that resulted to the killing of a Maguindanaon farmer identified as Kwas Dagandal, believed one of the attackers.

Piñol said the attack came after Commander Fahron, reportedly a staunch enemy of the mayor, knew Allado was in town.

Allado has secured a court order dated June 23 that gave him temporary freedom for three days starting June 24.

The court allowed him to undergo a medical check-up and turn over some documents to the incoming mayor in his town for three days. Allado is set to end his term as mayor on June 30.

But Allado’s supposed turn-over of position was questioned by Piñol and outgoing provincial board member Shirlyn Macasarte who ran against Allado in the vice mayoral post. “Allado has no right to turn-over his position because the truth is, the Comelec has not yet proclaimed the winning candidates,” said Macasarte.

When the attack happened last June 25, Allado had already left his town.

Banisilan town police Chief Insp. Samuel Cadungon, on orders of the governor, arrested Allado and forced him to vacate the place.

Allado said there is too much injustice done against him and blamed the governor for it. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)