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City jail personnel to lose allowances if drug smuggling continues

Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - May 8, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Jail officials and personnel are on the brink of losing their monthly allowances from the city government due to the unabated drug smuggling into the facility.

Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday warned that the city might stop giving allowances if drug smuggling continues.

“I am reminding the BJMP personnel to not let their guards down in watching over the proliferation of drugs. We cannot tolerate that if that continues,” said Labella.

 At least a million worth of illegal drugs, a pistol, and other contrabands were seized Thursday dawn during a joint greyhound operation conducted by the operatives of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7.

The illegal items were discovered in the male dormitory of the city jail in Barangay Kalunasan.

“The result has alarmed me which is why I'm warning them not to put their guards down and one of the consequences maybe (is to) cancel their allowances if they cannot control the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the jail,” warned Labella.

City Jail warden Superintendent Jose Abueva confirmed that they are receiving monthly allowances from the city government. He refused to disclose the amount but it was allegedly based on position and rank. Labella also did not give a specific amount.

Labella said he already directed City Legal Officer Rey Gealon to make an inquiry into the latest greyhound operation. He said, if upon investigation it would be found that there was a conspiracy between the inmates and jail personnel, the city will not hesitate to file the appropriate charges.

In a previous report, the jail management said it is now verifying the names of inmates believed to be behind the illegal drug transactions inside the jail.

“That’s why the City Attorney has to make a report on what to do with the inmates and what to do with the jail officials (if found to be) in cahoots or in conspiracy. I am requesting him to make a report on that particular angles, dimensions and make the proper recommendation,” said Labella.

Abueva claimed that the operation last Thursday was part of their continuing efforts to cleanse the jail facility from illegal drugs and other contrabands.

“We don’t have a perfect facility that we could say that no contraband can enter our facility. Our facility is very congested. We don’t have technological searching capability. We just rely on the human capability of our personnel which has limitation. Kapoyon pud na sila man, unlike, kung naa ka technology or equipment ma-lessen ang workload,” said Abueva.

“Contraband is a day to day challenge to all of us. That is why we need to be alert, watchful and conscious at all times,” he added. — Iris Hazel M. Mascardo, FPL (FREEMAN)

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