Sun.Star Davao

JAIL GUARDS INTO DRUGS?

PDEA 11 has identified five jail guards who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade

- BY JULIET C. REVITA / Reporter

The Philippine Drug Enforcemen­t Agency (PDEA) 11 has identified five personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 11 who are allegedly involved in illegal drug trade.

Antonio Rivera, PDEA 11 regional director, said yesterday during a press forum that these personnel are jail guards who might be involved in illegal drug trade.

Rivera already submitted their names to the BJMP 11 regional director for proper action and in response, these personnel were relieved and reassigned to other jail facility in Davao region.

He, however, refused to give the names of the five personnel.

“I believe nag-conduct na din sila ng investigat­ion regarding the possible involvemen­t. ‘Yong sa amin naman na-receive lang namin yon na informatio­n and in courtesy we gave back the informatio­n sa RD (regional director) nila for proper action ng agency which I believe na ginawa nila,” Rivera said.

On February 23, provincial jail administra­tor of Davao del Sur Jail Chief Inspector Roman Hernandez, considered a “high-value target”, was tested positive for drug use.

However, Rivera said Hernandez’s name saying he is not one of those personnel that they were able to monitor to have involvemen­t in illegal drug trade inside the Davao City jail.

“Ang informatio­n is they (five BJMP personnel) were somehow involved but as to the details of the involvemen­t, hindi pa namin nakuha but in spite of that binigay namin yon na informatio­n para aksyonan nila,” Rivera added.

On the other hand, BJMP 11 Jail Inspector Edo Lobenia, community relations service officer chief and spokespers­on, emphasized that they do not tolerate erring personnel among their ranks. He said if these personnel will be proven guilty based on the investigat­ion, they will be facing dismissal from the service.

“We do not tolerate any wrongdoing­s of our personnel. ‘Yong Joint Greyhound operation na yon had been planned beforehand. Matagal nang plano yon. Kung matatandaa­n niyo, there were instances that we had also greyhound operation wherein some of the inmates threw stones to us during Greyhound operation,” Lobenia said.

To date, he said the BJMP employee who was arrested in a buy bust operation in Compostela Valley has been dismissed while four administra­tive charges were already filed.

As part of their internal cleansing, he said that they regularly conduct random drug testing among their ranks.

Hernandez, meanwhile, is now facing criminal charges for violating RA 9165 and administra­tive charges are now being prepared against him. Lobenia said that Hernandez will also be dismissed from BJMP.

Asked on the proliferat­ion of illegal drugs inside the city jail and how these have passed through their inspection, he said inspection among the visitors was done manually due to lack of state-ofthe art facility. He added that this is also the reason they could not absolutely prevent the entry of contraband.

“We’re still undergoing investigat­ion with that matter. Ang BJMP kasi ang facility natin is overcrowde­d yong sa loob and at the same time we do not have the state-of-the-art facilities that could really detect foreign objects being sneaked in by visitors inside the jail facility,” Lobenia added.

He is not also discountin­g the possibilit­y of involvemen­t of their personnel on the presence of illegal drugs inside the jail.

Davao City Jail has around 600 percent congestion rate with a population of 3,000 inmates housed in a facility which has a 500 ideal capacity.

Ang informatio­n is they (five BJMP personnel) were somehow involved but as to the details of the involvemen­t, hindi pa namin nakuha but in spite of that binigay namin yon na informatio­n para aksyonan nila ANTONIO RIVERA PDEA 11 regional director

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