DUMAGUETE City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo is scheduled to conduct an ocular inspection of the city detention and rehabilitation center, which is under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), to boost current security efforts at the overcrowded jail.
The city jail has 520 male inmates, way beyond its capacity of just 82 persons, according to City Information Officer Dems Rey Demecillo in a media release Monday.
Jail warden Senior Inspector Rolly Bandeling and his staff recently met Mayor Remollo to seek assistance on how to boost the security of the compound amid repeated attempts by friends and family of the inmates to sneak in various contraband such as cellular phones, cigarette, alcohol, weapons and shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) by throwing them over the fence or concealing them during visits, said Demecillo.
The move came as authorities were investigating alleged illegal drugs trade inside the city jail following the confiscation of some 100 to 150 grams of suspected shabu over the weekend.
In that incident, which was recorded on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, a man riding a motorcycle threw over the prison's perimeter fence a bundle, which was later discovered to be containing a crystalline substance believed to be shabu.
According to Demecillo, Remollo is studying how to expand the jail compound while reinforcing the perimeter security fence and watchtower.
Remollo is also set to clear some unused rooms or building as additional working space for the jail guards.
A proposed ordinance might be introduced and it will penalize any visitor or outsider who would attempt to slip in contraband to inmates.
At present, BJMP regulations limit jail guards in prosecuting visitors and can only suspend some privileges of the inmates should they be caught to have violated certain house rules or accepting prohibited items.
BJMP officials said an ordinance penalizing visitors caught with contraband can certainly help prevent them from taking part of such effort.
Mayor Remollo said he will ask lawyers to study the necessity, legality and practicality of the proposal.
The weekend incident of suspected shabu being thrown from the outside into the city jail premises has alerted jail authorities on the possibility of unidentified persons having contacts inside the jail using cellular phones.
The alleged shabu, which was wrapped with brown paper marked with the name "Tambok" on it, has an estimated value of P500,000.
Bandeling said the contraband was thrown from outside but it hit the rooftop.
The tower guard noticed something that hit the roof top, prompting him to call the desk officer through a two-way radio. The desk officer then recovered the package.
This is not the first time that packages were thrown from outside the jail, prompting the district jail to institute measures, like posting jail guards outside the perimeter of the BJMP.
In one previous incident, jail guards were able to apprehend two individuals who just threw unidentified objects toward the jail, but they could not file charges in the absence of evidence.
Only last month, jail guards also recovered more than 40 grams of alleged shabu, placed in an empty plastic bottle of soda, and which was thrown from the outside.
A few weeks ago, a visitor was caught bringing suspected sachets of shabu as he left the city jail after visiting a friend who is also accused of violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act.
The use of the basketball court where the detainees are permitted to engage in sports activities was suspended soon after the latest "shabu-throwing" incident because it is being used as an avenue for objects to find their way inside the jail, said Bandeling. (PNA)