Corrections authorities said Monday that the brawling incident between the medical chief and the newly-transferred jail officer in the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) should best be settled internally.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) information officer Gabriel Chaclag said during his visit to the penal institution that they do not want the issue to be openly discussed outside the organization.

“This kind of incident, it is best that it is settled internally, so we have one group and another group within the same organization and that is the BuCor and we don’t want to play it openly na pinag-uusapan sa labas ng organization and there are processes that we are instituting,” he said.

Chaclag said they are investigating allegations formally to be fair to both sides.

Chaclag explanation came in the wake of an alleged heated argument and brawling incident between corrections technical senior superintendent Dr. Amador Perez Jr. and Jail Officer I Jayferson Bon-as on January 31.

Bon-as is an officer from Manila, hand-picked by BuCor director general Gerald Bantag to be assigned at the ICF as part of his “monitoring representatives”.

“Ang iniisip natin lagi ay ang kapakanan ng BuCor so bawat hakbang na ginagawa natin, we always want to give fair treatment, we want to give each side his story or we want to hear their sides. That is what we are doing right now, maliit lang na issue ito. Ang pinakamalaking pinag-uusapan dito ay ang positive changes na ginagawa natin sa BuCor,” Chaclag said.

Chaclag said that the issue has been “ventilated in a dialogue”, claiming he is glad that both parties involved have expressed their own sides.

“We don’t want to escalate or bring more issues into what happened and what we are doing right now is to go forward, kalimutan na natin ang mga intriga sa nakaraan na nakakasira. Ang bigyan ng focus is how to move forward and how to be one organization united in doing and pursuing the mandate,” he said.

He said that the deployment of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) officers in ICF is to apply their expertise in the penal institution.

Chaclag said that the jail officers would help the administration of ICF in the enrichment of operation just like what they are doing in National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

“The BJMP group, just like what they are doing in National Bilibid Prison, they will also be helping the administration of this Iwahig Penal Colony. They are bringing in their expertise from the BJMP at na-i-enrich naman ang operations natin, yong administration natin so that’s what we are doing. We try to complement each other, we try to get the best of both these organizations and apply the best practices in the Iwahig Penal Farm,” he said.

On reports that persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) will conduct protests inside the penal farm, Chaclag said that the BuCor always receives reports about them, yet he still has to confirm if it is true.

He said that during his visit to the medium and maximum security compounds, he did not get anything related to that or to any problem.

“Those kinds of news, we always receive those kinds of reports through the superintendents. For that particular news, I still have to confirm if there is such a rumor. I have made a visit to the medium and maximum security compound, and I was also able to speak to the leadership of the PDLs. I didn’t get anything that is related to that or is connected to any problems or mga reklamo,” he said.