Until further notice

By Editorial February 13,2018

Until they resort to something extreme which God forbid they should not do on pain of more severe penalties, the inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) should cooperate with the provincial government in eliminating the contraband circulating within the facility once and for all.

Lest they forget, it bears reminding these inmates that they are in jail because they committed a crime or had been accused of committing crimes.

As such, any rights they enjoyed outside have been curtailed within the facility, and they will stay there until they served their sentence or had been acquitted of the charges leveled at them.

A manifesto submitted to Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III by the inmates’ lawyer, Inocencio dela Cerna, appealed for the restoration of visitation privileges which were canceled after the latest raid showed more contraband including drugs and proceeds.

Also included in their letter is the return of the P260,000 that they said is the income generated by their cooperative.

But acting Provincial Warden Bobby Legaspi made a reasonable point when he said that the money should be invested in a bank instead of staying in their cooperative.

It had been learned that the cooperative’s fund was supposedly used to bribe jail guards as well as pay for the drugs consumed by some of the inmates who may deny these allegations to death without offering any evidence to refute them.

And there are countless incidents of visiting loved ones being shown smuggling drugs and other contraband to the inmates through their bags, underwear and what not.

It is precisely these incidents that drove the provincial government to suspend the visitation rights until further notice.

And the reasoning by inmates that they should not be penalized for the violations of others is no guarantee that the delivery of contraband would stop permanently.

If the inmates are determined to press their demands, they should seek court action and even the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

They probably won’t care much about public opinion since they’ve been locked up anyway.

The inmates are said to have threatened to protest the suspension of the visitation rights but how they would do so remains suspect unless it’s a hunger strike or a noise barrage.

And even during these protests one cannot avoid suspecting that something illegal will happen behind the scenes and such actions will only invite further punitive action.

Bottom line, if the inmates want to have their visitation privileges restored, they should cooperate with the authorities in ending the entry of contraband and police their own ranks.

Until they do, the continuing greyhound raids will flush out whoever is ultimately responsible for these contraband. If there is a conspiracy between both inmates and those in authority, they should be held accountable for it.

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