BJMP guards to include minors’ jail in security watch
DESPITE pulling out from the Operation Second Chance Center (OSCC), the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has assured that they will include the facility in their security watch in order to prevent the smuggling of contraband through the facility for minor offenders.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, deputy mayor on police matters, said the assurance was given by Cebu City Jail Warden Arnel Peralta.
“When we talked with Colonel Peralta, he said he will really put additional security especially in the perimeter between the OSCC. He said he will include putting guards in the tower and catwalks so that people cannot throw in contraband from the outside,” he said.
The move came after more than 300 packs of cigarettes were found thrown inside the facility. A small pack of what was believed to be shabu was also found concealed in one of the cigarette packs.
Lighters, as well as hundreds of small clear plastic sachets believed to be intended for repacking illegal drugs, were also intercepted by OSCC personnel.
The drugs and cigarettes were intended for some inmates at the adjacent Cebu City Jail male dormitory.
Officials suspect that some of the minor offenders inside the OSCC have been contracted by inmates of the city jail to also toss over the contraband from the OSCC to the city jail.
Tumulak said he was told by Peralta that they were “alarmed” at the confiscated plastic sachets which could mean that there could still be hidden supplies of illegal drugs inside the city jail.
“It is believed to be used for the repacking of shabu.
This is why they will really be tightening the security in our city jail,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the part of the city, Tumulak said they will be putting up tarpaulins as a temporary measure while they work on securing a budget for the construction of a higher concrete perimeter fence for the OSCC.
With a tarpaulin block, the inmates from the city jail will not be able to communicate with people from the OSCC.
Tumulak said that apparently, the inmates from the city jail use hand signals to be able to communicate with their contacts inside the OSCC.
The OSCC is currently being solely managed and operated by the Cebu City government under the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).
DSWS head Lea Japson said she will ask the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) to inspect the area in order to do estimates for the planned construction of a higher perimeter fence for the facility.
Tumulak also reiterated the need for a city ordinance that would penalize people who would bring contraband inside both the Cebu City Jail and the OSCC.
He lamented that while there are policies issued by the BJMP to this effect, it is sadly lacking as these policies do not carry penalties and fines with them.
“That’s why they (BJMP) are asking the City Council to draft and approve an ordinance prohibiting the smuggling in of cell phones and cigarettes and other contraband into their facilities,” he said.
Tumulak already proposed an ordinance to prohibit the entry and use of cell phones and drones into the Cebu City Jail. But the proposal was shot down by the council’s committee on laws which said there is no legal basis for the city to approve the ordinance.
The committee said it should be the BJMP that should enforce this kind of prohibition.
Nonetheless, Tumulak said he will refile the proposed ordinance.
Aside from cellphones and drones, he said he will also include cigarettes in the list of prohibited items. His proposed ordinance will cover both the Cebu City jail and the OSCC.
“With an ordinance, we can impose penalties both criminal and administrative. Magpanagana na gyud sila (Next time, they will think twice in doing so) because right now, they are openly sneaking in contraband,” he said.
He said he plans to reintroduce the proposal within the next few months.
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