Inmates surrender contraband items
What led to their change of heart?
Whether it was out of reverence for the image of Cebu’s patron, Santo Niño, which came to visit the jail facility for a night; or maybe the fear of getting into more trouble, inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), on Monday night, voluntarily surrendered contraband items which they had kept hidden in their cells.
At least 10 packs of shabu (methamphetamine) and three cellular phones were quietly turned over by an undetermined number of inmates, hours after a replica of the original Santo Niño image was delivered to the provincial jail yesterday as part of the 452nd anniversary of “Kaplag.”
“The Kaplag was yesterday (Monday) and the image of the Santo Niño was there… it was there overnight. We told them that for Santo Niño, just turn in your contrabands,” said CPDRC officer-in-charge Bobby Legaspi. “It was voluntary, it was throughout the night that they turned it in,” he added.
“Kaplag,” a Cebuano word which means “to find,” is also the name of a religious celebration in Cebu which commemorates the April 1565 finding of the Santo Niño image, which was Magellan’s gift to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521, amid the burnt ruins of a village. As part of tradition, a Santo Niño replica is brought by priests to CPDRC for an overnight stay.
“Luckily, they turned over the items and I think the street value of the shabu turned over … was probably P10,000,” Legaspi said.
Those who heeded his call to voluntarily surrender the contraband items will not undergo punishment. Earlier this month, two surprise “mini greyhound operations” were conducted at CPDRC.
Legaspi said that because of these surprise raids, the inmates are now aware that those caught in possession of a contraband will face additional criminal charges on top of their existing cases.
This as security at the jail facility is being beefed up. Legaspi also told reporters that the two signal jammers installed in CPDRC were functional; but one had to be repositioned to maximize its reach in intercepting communication signals. Jail authorities are looking into adding more signal jammers inside CPDRC to cover the whole area.
“I’m still bringing in an expert to do a site visit to see how many additional jammers we need,” said Legaspi.
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