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Nation

DILG to conduct random drug tests in jails

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Random drug tests will be conducted among jail personnel and inmates amid reports on the proliferation of illegal drugs in jails, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos said yesterday.

He warned officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) that he is not taking lightly reports that drug pushers continue to operate behind bars.

“I will personally go to jails and conduct surprise drug testing of BJMP personnel and PDLs (persons deprived of liberty)… I’m warning each and every BJMP warden and personnel, kapag may nag-positive, it means na may nakapasok na droga sa mga jail facilities natin,” he said.

Abalos said communication between inmates and their drug patrons should be cut by using signal jammers in jails.

He also stressed the need for medical screening and physical examination prior to admission in jails to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.

BJMP data showed that as of June 30, there were 131,193 inmates in 477 jails nationwide. Up to 337 jails are congested at a rate of 387 percent.

BENJAMIN ABALOS

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