Cebu News

For failure to clean the jail: Macato sacked as CPDRC warden

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Doctor Gil Macato, who served as warden of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) for about four months, was booted out from his post yesterday for his alleged failure to “clean” the jail.

“I’m relieving him effective today (yesterday) as acting warden.  Despite the measures taken naa gihapon contraband nakalusot. With him there, ato man gud pagtuo nalimpyo.  But I can understand also that we are dealing here with inmates nga naa’y kasinatian og criminal activities. Lisod pud on his part,” Governor Hilario Davide III told reporters yesterday.

A surprise greyhound operation by the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7 Tuesday dawn uncovered contraband such as illegal drugs, money and cellular phones inside the facility.

Davide said he will issue a memorandum to make his relief order official.

He appointed anew Bobby Legaspi, Chief of the Provincial Civil Security Units (CSU), as acting warden to oversee the operations of the provincial jail.

After Tuesday’s operation, Davide said Macato, who assumed the post last November 3, has yet to report to him.

The governor has been trying to reach Macato through his cellular phone but failed.

Davide said he is waiting for the greyhound reports from PDEA-7 Director Filemon Ruiz, but he wants also to hear Macato’s explanation why the contraband continues to slip inside the jail.

With the controversies hounding the CPDRC, Davide said he is eyeing at augmenting security at CPDRC with personnel from the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) of the Philippine National Police or agents from PDEA-7 themselves.

Legaspi agrees with Davide’s plan.

“The current ways have changed since the PNP personnel have pulled out.  I think we are going to go back to the way we handled it when the PPSC is helping us,” Legaspi said in a Provincial Information Office report yesterday.

Stricter policy in the inspection of visitors and personnel of CPDRC should also be implemented, he added.

Legaspi is also planning to revive the Task Force CPDRC to help coordinate and draft policy reforms to strengthen jail’s security.

In August last year, at least 20 members of PPCS, headed by Senior Inspector Zosimo Jabas, were assigned at the provincial jail for additional security due to several controversies the jail has been involved in.

They were pulled out from CPDRC December last year.

Cebu Provincial Police Office director Senior Superintendent Eric Noble said he will assign at least 20 additional personnel to augment the security at the jail if the governor would want to.

“We will be happy to help the provincial government. If gusto niya ibalik ang police, susundin natin. We are loyal subordinate to whatever our boss will tell us,” Noble said.

Two teams composed of 10 personnel each will help secure the facility.

Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office Chief Ivy Durano-Meca hopes that the greyhound operations would be done regularly to eliminate the entry of contraband into the jail.

“It’s not too late for us to act on something. The recent greyhound was the first step we did and I hope it will be a continuing apprehension sa CPDRC,” she said.

In the greyhound operation, authorities recovered 76 cellular phone, including those of a suspected drug personality; 19 medium sachets of shabu worth at least P30,000; cash amounting P92,000; laptop and media players; lighters; and drug paraphernalia.

Davide said charges will be filed against the five inmates for illegal possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale has attributed the entry of contraband inside the penitentiary to the laxity in its security system.

She said the jail guards might not be strict enough during inspection of the detainees’ visitors that was why they could sneak in contrabands into the facility, like cellular phones and illegal drugs, among others.

“We have been trying to (clean CPDRC from contraband),” Magpale said.

She said the province even installed two signal jammers at the CPDRC in January to ensure that inmates can no longer communicate outside.

Signal jammer is used to prevent cellular phones from receiving signals, including mobile internet and wifi.

Radio frequency, however, will not be affected as well as landlines. (FREEMAN)

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