One of the innovative personnel in the region where he shares his expertise in jail management is J/SUPT RILL FABELLA SONON, RN, JD, MPM. In his 23 years in the public service, he had been molded thru time, experience and challenges to what he stands today, all for the welfare of the jail bureau. He’s happily married to Mrs. Ma. Christina Astilla-Sonon, CSWO II with 2 lovely kids. Recently, he finished his Officer Senior Executive Course-DAP/NPC; Certified Counter-Terrorism Specialist-LEAP Academy and PPSC Certified Crime Scene Investigator-CRIDEC/NFSTI. He’s also a graduate of Major in Development and Security-MPM, Major in Public Safety-MPM and Juris Doctor-LLB. Certainly, J/SUPT SONON equipped himself well in the supervision of our PDL thru various training and academic degrees achieved.
Getting to know more about him, so we asked some questions to get more perspectives on his life as a prominent Jail Officer in the region as follows:
Can you share us more about your current jail assignment?
Aside from being designated as Maasin City Jail [MCJ] Warden, I am also the concurrent BJMP Southern Leyte Provincial Jail Administrator. Although my AOR only covers 3 jails [Maasin City Jail, Sogod DJ and SanJuan CJ], it would somehow take a whole day to effect jail inspections and personnel information & education due to vast landmass area of the Province.
In your 1st year as Jail Warden, you’ve accomplished a lot, what are those accomplishments?
Despite being assigned in a small jail facility owing to rank, it did not deter me to perform duties and responsibilities to the best of my knowledge and abilities.
With courage, professionalism, and the ability to recognize challenges as an opportunity to exercise leadership, I did a lot of innovations relative jail management. With wide base of support among Non-Government Organizations, they had contributed a lot in achieving the mandates of the Jail Bureau. The aspect on Community Relations is superb during my 1st year of stewardship. In fact, even up to this moment, my previous “DABARKADS” was again mentioned and queried during the 08 September 2020 CMCC meeting. This acronym stands for “DAmayan ng BARangay at Kulungan Ayon sa Disiplina at Seguridad”
I ensure coastal/underwater clean-up and tree-planting within my AOR. Such civic activities were attended into by the PNP, BFP and among other LEAs to include NGO’s. Constant linkages to various mass media were ensued thereby promoting good image of the Jail Bureau and upright public value.
MCJ and rest of the jails under my command have maintained zero-escape, hence, remains effective in our mandate. It is also during my tenure that all jails within AOR obtained the most coveted Red Orchid Award.
As Juris Doctor[LLB], I obtained two  City Ordinances that can be of great help as he strongly campaigns on President Duterte’s War-On-Drugs. Evident thereto, MCJ acquired, for the nth times, Drug-Free Certifications from the PDEA. A litany of accomplishments during this curriculum year are too many to mention but these, so far, are too illuminating worthy of mentioning.
MAmamayan Ayaw Sa INsureksyon [MA.A.S.IN] is one of your innovative programs. Can you tell us more about this programs of yours?
This is one of my innovative ideas, one that catches all attention, is the Programang MA.A.S.IN. In pursuant to the program thrust of the President Duterte Administration on ELCAC, I wittingly coined MAASIN as MAmamayan Ayaw Sa INsureksyon. This is BJMP MCJ’s fair contribution to the government’s call for a shared responsibility towards ending local communist armed conflict and insurgency. Its strategy is to penetrate campuses and universities, deliver and inculcate to the minds of the youth the significance of being a law abiding citizen and that the management of BJMP MCJ wishes not to meet them in jail ever. As of today, application of this MAASIN is limited to PDL, personnel, and selected group of youth.
Recently, you have been adjudged as the Best City Jail Warden of the Year and was recognized by the Province of Southern Leyte for your notable contribution. What can you say about such recognition?
Just like any other normal individual, I feel so much gratitude being adjudged as 2020 Best Jail Warden of the Year. Although bragging aside, I had been a recipient of such title for numerous occasions, to bag this prestigious recognition in times of global pandemic, certainly considered, a G.O.A.T. and I truly stand proud as history unfolds.
Amid COVID-19, what are your preventive measures and programs ensuring that our PDL and personnel are COVID free?
Being a Registered Nurse and the only Senior JOR in this Region belonging to the Nursing Profession, I issued words of encouragement to all jail nurses caught unprepared [emotionally] by the sudden onset of jail lockdown nationwide. As all nurses then were in quandary on the gravity of their role as the main man for the job in their respective jails, hence, the need for this statement, to wit;
To my fellow Nurses in RBJMP8, Please be informed that I’m one with you in these trying times of human existence. Humanity is at stake and with utmost urgency, Health is our topmost concern. Placing the entire Nation under state of National Emergency, and all Jail facilities under ABSOLUTE LOCKDOWN, the Bureau has to keep an eye on our profession, logically. The BJMP deeply rely on us, Nurses, as they made it sure all jails nationwide are seeded with your presence, making Nurses as the Lead implementers in our Fight against COVID-19. Under such circumstances, it may be hard for you to fathom being locked down in jail indefinitely, rest assured, rest assured that prayers and well wishes of our Leaders are intended for your best welfare and eventual success. In our quest for the preservation of our existence, PDL, Officers, Men and Women of the Jail Bureau, now truly relies on your Nursing Assessment and Intervention. Please don’t get discouraged at this point of time. Don’t give a room for this, rather, take the present situation as a challenge and opportunity to show what Nurses are truly made of! This pandemic will soon pass our lifetime but before that moment, let us give him a good fight! Kaya natin ‘to Nurses!
As of this narration, Maasin City Jail and the rest of the jails province wide, remains free from covid-19 contagion. At the onset of pandemic, early March 2020, I initially developed the strategy of “DISINFECTION”. This is to ensure easy recall of protocols of utmost importance.
Likewise, in my capacity as Jail Provincial Administrator, my innovative idea on the observance of DOH and IATF Advisories came into effect. The incumbent elected official of Southern Leyte Province is Governor Damian Gaviola Mercado, hence, comes now the D.G.M Minimum Health Standards. The primary intention here is to ride on the popularity of subject elected official thereby ensuring widest name recall and at the same time widest observance of protocols among his constituents. All three BJMP manned jails province wide are in observance of this program.
Finally, in response to DILG and DOH calls for “BIDA and may DISIPLINA”, I came up with this own version of discipline. “Dito sa Maasin City Jail, DISIPLINADO KAMI” is now in execution. These are the protocols which must be observed not just by the PDL and Personnel alike but for all stakeholders and visitors while COVID-19 vaccine is still unavailable.
What pieces of advice can you share with your fellow Jail Officers?
Faith to God in all your dealings and never be too complacent with your career. There will be moments of man-made calamities that will be hurled against your person. There will be insinuation of fabricated issues and malicious imputation just to lodge you out from the race. Professional jealousy, in some instances, is beneficial to the service as it would bring out the best and brightest side of an Officer. Red flag only comes in when ill-intent and bad motives are attendant thereto. When this moment comes, always refer to the first sentence.
What drives you to better accomplishments?
Obviously, success is what motivates an officer to perform the best of his caliber. On the contrary, failure, initially creates humiliation and discouragement. I, as a normal human being, is not remote in experiencing such emotional state. The challenge to prove personal worth and the opportunity to exercise leadership in times of difficulties always precedes over all other intentions. After all, “The supreme measure of a Leader is not where he stands in moments of tranquillity, but where he stands at times of Challenging.”
What are your future plans for Maasin City Jail?
Truth hurts but sad to say, being built way back year 1893, Maasin CJ probably owns the record being the most dilapidated jail in Region 8, if not, the entire country. All future plans therefore must be geared towards the acquisition of a new jail facility.
Short plan however, in support of our new Regional Director JSSUPT FELLY A CEBUMA, posted below is the TAMANG ‘BIHIS’ PROGRAM which will be implemented on the Fourth Quarter of this year. With this in effect, the Jail Bureau will be assured that personnel within the entire province of BJMP Southern Leyte, are wearing the prescribed uniforms in terms of their quality, texture, kind, and color. This shall include the prescribed paraphernalia and appropriateness of the occasion on which they are required to be worn.
Any message for Maasin City Jail Personnel.
As posted in my FB account, I gave great weight of acknowledgement for the Team Work shown by the men and women of Maasin City Jail. This have paved way for my recognition being adjudged as the 2020 Best Jail Warden of the Year. No officer can achieve the mission and vision of his office without full support from his direct subordinates. They are the workforce of the unit, the frontline of defense. Public safety of the City remains outstanding due to their professionalism and dedication to avowed duty relative safekeeping and development of PDL. May they continue serving the Jail Bureau with enthusiasm and much courage to perform deeds truly worthy of emulation by all comrades.
Truly, J/SUPT SONON is an embodiment of public service. Geared towards innovations so catchy and meaningful to current program thrusts of the government. He surely believes in work perseverance and faith to God in all of his undertakings. Several accomplishments had been known to us thru his leadership and that surely deserves merit worthy of emulation. Jail Officers should uphold our mandate and core values, and let your accomplishments speaks well of you. To sir SONON, kudos and continue to be a beacon of inspiration and keep on innovating for the good name of the jail bureau.
JSUPT RILL F SONON, RN, JD, MPM
Jail Provicial Administrator, Southern Leyte
- APOLAWMAN8 – President
- Mu Beta Alumni Association – President
- Sacred Heart Seminary Alumni Association – Member
- Philippine Nurses Association – Member
- APO EVSU Carigara Petitioning Group – Organizer/Founder
- APO ALAS – Organizer/Founder