Cebu City Jail warden’s concern: Contrabands, congestion

By: Pegeen Maisie Sararana - CDN Digital | May 04,2021 - 06:43 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Jail warden Jose Abueva said that sneaking of contrabands and cell congestion remain a challenge for him. 

Abueva, who sat as jail warden last October 2020, said that aside from persons deprived of liberty (PDL) tripling in number, the sneaking of contrabands is also a consistent problem in the facility.

“Sa pag search gyud namo, di man gyud namo malikayan nga naay mga kontrabando nga musulod sa atong facility, apil na ang cellphones. Mao bitaw nga from time to time, mag greyhound (operations) ta kay daghang mga ways [makasulod],” Abueva said.

(When we search, it can’t be avoided that some contrabands make it inside the facility, indcluding cellphones. That’s why from time to time, we conduct greyhound operations because there are really a lot of ways to bring contrabands in.)

To address this, Abueva said they will be conducting regular greyhound operations inside the facility. 

He, however, admitted that despite having the strength of their cell monitoring, there could still be a possibility that some contrabands make it through as they lack the technical capability and manpower to search. 

“Atong searching capability, human lang, wa tay x-ray. Dako gyud ang posibilidad nga bisan unsaon pa sa mga searchers nato, dako gyud ang posibilidad nga malutsan gyud ta,” said Abueva.

(Our searching capability is just done by humans, no x-ray. So there’s a chance that no matter how good our searchers are, there;s still the possibility that contrabands will be sneaked in.)

He also said they are planning to implement  “electronic dalaw” (electronic visit), wherein  inmates will be given time to talk to their families through the use of technology for a few minutes only.

Apart from the problem with contrabands, Abueva has to also deal with the increasing number of PDLs in the facility.

Abueva said that from their 2,000 PDL count, they now have 6,251 PDLs inside the facility that has 70 cells.

So instead of an ideal 30 prisoners being placed in one cell, they have to put around a hundred PDLs per cell.

Their plan to address this issue was to put some of the PDLs in the annex building of the facility.

But COVID-19 came and this plan had to be set aside since this annex building is being used for quarantine of incoming prisoners. 

On their COVID update, Abueva said that they have three active cases out of 400 prisoners who are under monitoring. Some of these PDLs are completing their quarantine on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. 

He added that their COVID status is manageable as they have enough facilities to cater these PDLs in their COVID Ligtas Center. 


Read: Technical Working Group formed to help beef up security in Cebu City Jail

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TAGS: Cebu City jail, persons deprived of liberty

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