Cebu City, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Chances are you’ve seen the viral YouTube video featuring hundreds of jail inmates dancing to a choreographed version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Now these same Cebu City inmates, joined by tens of thousands of others incarcerated in Philippine jails and prisons, have gone into a hunger strike. Their demands? Larger jail cells, airconditioning and free wi-fi access.
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) estimate the total prisoners at 80,000. BuCor has jurisdiction over national prisons while BJMP oversees jails in cities, towns and provinces.
The striking inmates were emboldened upon learning that two senators who are now in jail in connection with plunder charges arising from the Ten Billion pork barrerl scam, have demanded more comfortable jail conditions, including airconditioning, gourmet meals, refrigerators, television sets and Internet access, among others. The two senators are Bong Revilla, Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada.
“If our leaders can demand better conditions in their jail cells – or bungalows – why can’t we?” the strikers said.
President NoyNoy Aquino was reported to be under severe stress as a result of the national hunger strike, especially because he has always proclaimed that under the law, every Filipino will be treated equally. Witnesses observed that Aquino has been continuously puffing cigarettes as a result of the stress.