Technical Working Group formed to help beef up security in Cebu City Jail
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Technical Working Group (TWG) has been formed to work on improving security measures in the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan here.
The TWG was formed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7), Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) mainly to concentrate on measures on how to cut cellphone signal from the facility and prevent the smuggling of mobile phones into the facility. Among the plans set by authorities is to add signal jammers.
This became a priority after the PRO-7 found links of an illegal drug trade from inside the jail after a recent drug bust that yielded P41 million worth of ‘high-grade shabu’ in Barangay Inayawan on Monday, October 5, 2020.
Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, the director of PRO-7, said in previous statements that the two suspects caught in the bust pointed to a certain ‘Jao,’ an inmate at the Cebu City Jail, as their source of shabu, which they also claimed was brought abroad.
In a press conference on October 5, 2020, that Cebu City Jail Warden Julius Arro neither denied nor confirmed the involvement of the said inmate to the drug bust.
However, he said that mobile phones have always been one of the top contrabands inside the jail that they have confiscated from pre-pandemic Greyhound operations.
“I am not denying nor confirming the involvement of the PDL (Persons Deprived of Liberty) in this drug trade. I have knowledge that this PDL has been involved before of transaction or disposing of illegal drugs before through mobile phones,” said Arro.
The warden said Jao denied involvement in the illegal drug trade as his case is murder. Still, the PDEA and the PRO-7 will continue to investigate his connection to the illegal drug trade.
The agencies identified 30 high profile PDLs that are linked to the drug trade, and they are being closely monitored. They are even isolated to keep them away from those with lower charges.
Arro said that this TWG would help them improve the security measures in the jail and prevent the inmates from going back to their old ways and be involved in the illegal drug trade through cellular phones.
PDEA-7 Director Levi Ortiz said the signal jamming of the jails should not only be at the Cebu City Jail but in all jails in Cebu so that drug traders on the ground will not be able to use any of the jail facilities for the illegal drug trade.
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