AN OFFICIAL of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Central Visayas suspects that the illegal drugs found inside the Cebu City Jail during the weekend had been smuggled in by women.
Senior Superintendent Hilbert Flor, assistant director for administration of the BJMP-Central Visayas, told reporters that female visitors possibly concealed sachets of shabu in their private parts. It’s something they are still investigating, but they’ve received information about this before.
Flor said security in jail is being tightened, following the discovery last Saturday of contraband inside the jail, including illegal drugs, phones, and cash. A joint operation by the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visayas covered both the Cebu City and provincial jails.
Jail officers are also frisked now when they report for work, Flor said.
However, BJMP has no plan to suspend visits because the inmates might protest such an action and trouble might arise, added Flor.
As for the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), Warden Romeo Manansala will stay in place while the Capitol investigates alleged irregularities in the facility.
Inmate Alvaro Alvaro, an alleged drug lord who went by the alias Barok, was sent back inside an isolation room, after the raid showed he had a cell phone’s SIM card in his possession.
Governor Hilario Davide III is considering the possibility of asking the Bureau lf Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to manage the CPDRC.
Davide also ordered an investigation on seven jail guards suspected of being involved in smuggling contraband inside the facility. He said it would be a challenge to replace Manansala at once.
“Problema man gud nangita ta ug suitable nga makapuli niya (We are still looking for a suitable replacement,” the governor said.
In Central Visayas, only Cebu Province manages its own jail, BJMP-Central Visayas Director Senior Superintendent Allan Iral said in a phone interview yesterday. He might discuss the management of the Cebu provincial jail with the governor later this week.
Cebu City Jail Warden Supt. Johnson Calub will be replaced today by Superintendent Jessie Calumpong.
At least 28 senior jail officers who will be relieved today will be transferred to other regions in batches.
The 48 sachets confiscated from jail inmates last Saturday during the pre-dawn search turned out to contain shabu, PDEA-Central Visayas information officer Leia Albar confirmed, quoting a lab analysis.
The contraband weighed 105.4 grams and would have fetched as much as P316,000. (This corrects initial reports that the confiscated shabu weighed 70 grams and were worth around P240,000.)
Albar said that a complaint for violating Section 11 (possession of dangerous drugs) of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against Mark Entece, Marlon Ferolino, and Jerome Miñoza.
Phones recovered from these suspects will also be examined.
Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas Director Noli Taliño said last Saturday, hours after the raid, that they had received reports about outsiders pretending to be visitors in order to use drugs inside the jail, because they were afraid of being arrested outside.
The raid happened after a former inmate squealed about the alleged illegal activities inside the jail. Taliño assured the safety of the former detainee.
Also yesterday, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale asked Warden Manansala, during the Provincial Board’s (PB) regular session, to confirm reports that conjugal rooms inside the CPDRC were being rented for P20,000 to P30,000 per month.
She also brought up allegations about a red car, allegedly owned by the male drug detainee Jennifer Peregrino, being parked inside the CPDRC compound.
Other allegations included: that the detainees were allowed to own and raise three gamecocks inside prison; that the wife of detainee Bienvenido “Jun” Noel was allowed inside without being searched; and that visitors of jail consultant Marco Toral entered on a Thursday and left only on Monday, during the consultant’s birthday.
Magpale and PB Member Sun Shimura had invited Manansala to shed light on some deaths inside the jail last month, the discovery of a laptop and cellphone inside the facility, the escape of detainee Arnel Mait, and allegations of indiscriminate firing inside prison.
During the course of his explanation, Manansala mentioned there hasn’t been a doctor available for the 3,008 inmates since last December.
Manansala said he had already brought this up with the governor, and heard that the Capitol will set up a mini-hospital there.
He also explained that Toral had the conjugal room rented out at P30 per hour to defray the costs of repair and improvements.
Also, the inmate Peregrino had indeed requested Toral to let him park his car inside the compound, in the meantime. The car was pulled out last week. The gamecocks also belonged to Peregrino.
Manansala admitted that guests were allowed to stay for a few days during Toral’s birthday, entering on a Thursday and going out only on the Monday after that.
He denied reports, however, that Noel’s wife had not been frisked. But when Vice Governor Magpale asked him if he was always there to watch his guards, he said no.
As for the indiscriminate firing, Manansala said they have a firing range at the back of the CPDRC. Their license for it has yet to be approved by the Firearms, Explosives, Security Service Agencies, and Guards Supervisory Section.
Magpale said that Capitol officials are consulting lawyers to see if Toral can still be liable even if he resigned last week.
Sun.Star Cebu texted Toral for his side, but he had yet to answer as of press time.