Illegal drugs inside jails

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Sunday, August 3, 2014


IF OUR authorities cannot control the proliferation of illegal drugs inside our jails which are highly restricted and regulated places how much more in the community where drug addicts and pushers are free to do their illegal drug activities.

Even Gov. Hilario Davide III firmly believes the illegal drug trade still exists in our jails. And it cannot be done alone by inmates and their outside contacts so they must be in cahoots with corrupt jail personnel.

The claim of a certain Jocelyn Correa, who was arrested by police in Liloan last week, should not be taken for granted. Authorities should dig deeper.

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Correa told police that she got her supply of illegal drugs from an inmate at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center who she met last month while visiting her brother.

She identified the inmate as Gino Pilapil. She said Pilapil offered to supply her with drugs that she could sell. The inmate and Correa’s brother Allan Pilapil have been transferred to an isolation cell pending further investigation by Capitol officials.

Two other inmates were also pinpointed as sources of drugs inside the jail. They, too, have been placed in isolation.

A former inmate at the old Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center confirmed this modus operandi by moneyed inmates, who finance the operation, and corrupt jail guards.

Prisoners have their own set of rules and policies inside the jail. They have their own set officers; the highest ranked being the “gobernador.”

There’s also the “mayor” or “bosyo” who leads their respective cells. Prisoners have to follow the “chain of command.”

Leaders can impose disciplinary action against inmates who violate their rules and jail officials cannot even stop them.

As for corrupt jail guards, they extend some favors or give VIP treatment to prisoners who give them grease money.

If jail officers and jail guards are really performing their duties religiously by conducting thorough body search on visitors, how come drugs are easily smuggled inside? They even search a female visitor’s private parts because some couriers smuggle drugs this way. So, drugs can freely slip inside the jails and later on are sold to outsiders.

Who will search the jail guards when they report for work and after their duty? Sa ato pa diay sulod-gawas ra gyud diay ang drugas diha sa atong mga bilangguan.

After discussing this issue in my radio program over dySS Super Radyo, a friend from Dumanjug called and told me the story of his town mate, a former policeman, who is now at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. The policeman was jailed for another crime. He said the inmate whom he refused to identify does want to leave jail because he found a lucrative illegal drug trade business inside the national penitentiary. His stocks are even distributed as far south as Cebu and even reach Dumanjug.

This is not the first time I heard the story.

Prison officials can easily do monkey business inside. They can manufacture illegal drugs without being noticed by outsiders. Who will expose and raid them? Even the media cannot easily expose their shenanigans. Mind you, there are many chemists who are languishing in jails. I also suspect that there are some operatives in the police organization, including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, who are protecting those involved in the illegal drug business. How come they cannot detect, monitor and bust these syndicates?

This reminds me of an issue a long time ago when the Drug Rehabilitation and After Care Center (Dracc) managed by the Cebu City Government was still operating on Salinas Drive. Dracc shared a compound with the defunct Narcotics Command (Narcom).

You know what some corrupt Narcom agents did? The drugs they seized from raids and buy-busts were secretly sold to addicts undergoing rehab at the center. Parents of Dracc patients were surprised that the condition of their children did not change after several months rehabilitating in the facility. Naburyong man hinoon og samot. Unsaon nga dili maburyong nga naa man gihapoy drugas sa sulod.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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