TWO detainees died while 32 others were injured when members of two gangs clashed in a bloody riot at the Manila City Jail yesterday morning, highlighting anew the consequences of housing rival groups in one cell due to over-congestion.
The riot, which Manila City Jail spokesperson Sr. Insp. Jayrex Bustinera said was sparked by an argument between two detainees, lasted for only 10 minutes.
When jail guards finally managed to stop the riot, scores of detainees lay wounded, including Alvin Royo and Lito Escala who died past 9 a.m., more than two hours after the riot was sparked at 6:30 by an argument between members of the Batang City Jail and Sputnik Gang.
Royo and Escala died on arrival at the Jose Reyes Medical Center, where nine wounded detainees were brought for treatment. Royo and Escala died due to multiple lacerated wounds as a result of mauling.
Rival gangs are often housed in different cells to prevent flare-ups among its members but Bustinera said members of the two gangs were cramped together in one cell due to over-congestion.
“Kasi sa selda ngayon, pinaghalo-halo na namin ‘yung mga pangkat, so nag-away ‘yung dalawang pangkat sa loob ng isang selda (In the cells nowadays, we mix the groups together, so the two groups fought in one of the cells),” Bustinera said.
“Apparently, walang nakaawat sa dalawa hanggang sa lumaki ‘yung gulo (no one could pacify the two until the brawl became huge),” he said, adding an investigation is still ongoing.
The rest of the detainees who sustained minor wounds were treated at the jail.