Drugs in Davao City Jail

(Photo by Davao City Police Office)

AFTER the recovery of illegal drugs inside the Davao City Jail during Oplan Galugad on Saturday, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) said that they already submitted names of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) personnel who have alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade happening inside the facility.

“Marami kaming na-monitor sa kanila and we submitted our confidential report sa higher headquarters for further investigation pero marami sila,” DCPO director Alexander Tagum said.

He added, “Worse ‘yong ibang binabantayan namin are in cahoots. In fact, sila yong aktibo na sumusuporta dito (illegal drug trade) and we have already submitted the names.”

Without giving names or the ranks of these personnel, he said that these BJMP personnel of the Davao City Jail were the ones who allowed the entry of illegal drugs inside the facility.

“We are still conducting a case build up operation so that we can pile the necessary criminal and administrative complaints against these people na sumusporta kung bakit lumalaki ang illegal drug use sa ating jail facilities,” Tagum added.

He said the proliferation of illegal drugs in jail is not unique to Davao City as it is one of the problems in many jails in the country such as the case in New Bilibid Prison. The prison has been reported to have a serious drug problem even before the current administration.

“Alam naman natin namo-monitor naman natin for how many months na ang dami ng bisita na nag-aatempt na magpasok ng mga illegal drugs sa loob ng prisohan. For as long as there are users, then the possibility na meron paring shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) will remain,” Tagum said.

During their greyhound operation on February 23, four inmates facing drug cases were killed after they put up resistance to the inspecting team and even shot one of the personnel using an improvised gun.

Also, a BJMP officer identified as Jail Chief Inspector Roman Hernandez, who is considered a “high-value target,” being the provincial jail administrator of Davao del Sur was tested positive for drug use. A criminal case has been filed against him while an administrative case is underway.

Tagum said prior to the operation, they already received intelligence reports of the drug problem inside the city jail. During their drug operation, even the suspects who were caught in drug busts admitted that most of the shabu that they are selling came from inside the Davao City Jail. Some of the illegal drugs were purchased through negotiations with persons believed to be inmates of city jail.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office (PRO) Davao director Marcelo Morales said based on their observation, the security is relaxed in the two entrances of the city jail.

They recommended several measures so that the entry of contrabands inside will be intercepted. One of which is the change of the jail’s current system and protocol in inspection, which failed since there are still banned items that are being smuggled.

“Nakipag-coordinate na kami sa BJMP regional director to conduct investigation among the personnel na possibly involved sa illegal activities inside the city jail and I also suggested yong mga recommendation ko on how to avoid ang mga ganitong incident sa mga city jails natin,” Morales said.

He added there must be regular reshuffling of personnel which is still subject for evaluation of the BJMP organization.


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