Jun Pe’s proposed ordinance-A A +A
Saturday, October 15, 2011
THE ordinance proposed by Cebu City Councilor Agustus “Jun Pe” Pe Jr. imposing administrative penalty and imprisonment for inmates caught in possession of cellular phones inside the Cebu City Jail is funny. Deliberating on it is a total waste of the city councilors’ time and effort because it is impractical and unenforceable. I don't know what was in my good friend's mind when he proposed this.
This measure is no different from his plan to seek reelection in 2013 in the south district after serving a full three terms in the north district. Perhaps, Jun Pe thinks he can circumvent the law.
Why did I say Jun Pe's measure is impractical and unenforceable?
Cellular phones and other contraband gadgets or items, like drugs, are successfully smuggled inside the jail despite the practice of strict body search simply because some jail officials and personnel are in cahoots with the inmates. Allowing the entry inside the jail of illegal items is one of the money-making ventures of corrupt jail personnel.
If jail personnel are really determined to stop the entry of contraband inside the jail, then they should confiscate even the smallest illegal item. But because of corruption, they allow those who can afford to possess gadgets such as cellular phones.
Remember Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) supreme master Ruben Ecleo Jr.? When he was detained at the old Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC), he was allowed to bring in an electric guitar and a laptop computer. His girlfriend was even allowed to live with him inside the jail. Pera lang ang kapalit dyan.
If Jun Pe's proposed ordinance is passed, who will implement it? Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel? How can they implement it when they are the ones granting these privileges to the inmates for monetary consideration?
Granting for the sake of argument that all jail personnel are honest and God-fearing and will implement the ordinance once it is passed, do you think an inmate will pay the penalty of P5,000 once caught in possession of a cellular phone? I don't think so. They don’t even have money to post bail.
What about the prison term? I can imagine hearing this comment from the concerned inmate: “Kanang unom ka buwan nga silot pagkabilanggo, ipuno lang unya na sa akong giserbisyohan.” Also, before a penalty can be imposed on a violator, he must first be charged in court.
I would like to suggest to my good friend that he withdraw this measure. But if he won’t do so, I am sure the measure will be referred to the committee on laws and public accountability chaired by Councilor Edgardo Labella. I don't think Labella, a lawyer, will recommend for the passage of the ordinance. Matakdan gyud sila ni Jun Pe kun ila ning ipasar.
By the way, I would like to ask my good friend Jun Pe if it is true that he is the one supplying sacks of rice and other items to the city jail and its canteen. And how true is it that he now owns agricultural lands in a mountain barangay and even owns a rest house there?
Nindot gyud diay ning mapulitiko ta, kay makapundo. Mao nang bisan matapus na iyang termino sa north, magpapili na sab sa south. Wala na ba gyoy laing kapanginabuhian ning atong higala nga dili man siya mopahuway og balig tulo ka tuig sa pulitika? Mao ba ni giingon nila nga nahubog sa gahum?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2011.