Clad in full battle gear, operatives of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) and the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) raided the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) located in the hilly barangay of Kalunasan, Cebu City, at past 6 a.m. on Thursday.
The surprise inspection once again proved what had long been suspected: despite stringent security measures ordered at the facility, contraband still manage to sneak into the provincial jail.
Operatives confiscated two packs of shabu valued at P71,800, assorted drug paraphernalia, bladed weapons, and at least 26 cellular phones.
Also seized were cash of assorted denominations amounting to at least P2,450, chargers, a flat screen television, a portable digital video disc, and 30 boxes of cigarettes.
It was the sixth greyhound operation conducted by the PPSC since President Rodrigo Duterte started the war against illegal drugs in July 2016, and the fourth in 2017.
Male inmates were herded to the open-air quadrangle and were asked to remove their shirts as policemen searched their belongings and jail cells one by one.
The female inmates, on the other hand, were placed in a separate area still within the CPDRC quadrangle.
Supt. Mario Baquiran Jr., PPSC chief, said the items they confiscated were lesser than those seized in another surprise raid last August 2017.
He said the two packs of shabu were taken from the jail cells assigned to inmates led by Jenyfer Peregrino and Russel Calida.
“We will conduct an investigation regarding the matter. At this point, we could not say that Peregrino and Calida owned the packs of shabu as there are other inmates in that cell,” Baquiran told reporters in an interview.
Peregrino and Calida are facing charges in court for violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, particularly for possession of shabu over five grams — a non-bailable offense.
Baquiran said the cellular phones recovered inside the CPDRC will be sent to the Philippine National Police Anti-Cyber Crime Group for forensic tests and investigation.
Collusion with jailguards
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, in an interview, said around 10 jail guards will be suspended next week after investigation by the Capitol’s Committee on Discipline and Investigation (CODI) showed that they connived with inmates in smuggling contraband inside the provincial jail.
“Heads will roll. Some jail guards will undergo disciplinary actions,” said Davide, adding that he may also suspend jail visits at the CPDRC.
CPDRC deputy jail warden Audesti Miguel, for his part, said that jail officers were doing their best to prevent the entry of contraband into the provincial jail although it was possible that some jail guards were really in cahoots with the inmates.
“We are not disregarding that possibility,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that there are still contraband inside the CPDRC although we were told that there has been a significant reduction in the seized items,” Miguel added.
At least 14 “watchmen” will be assigned at the CPDRC to help 63 jail guards monitor the activities inside the provincial jail.
At present, CPDRC — the home of the famous Cebu dancing inmates — has a population of 3,541 which is more than its ideal capacity of 1,500.
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