PRO 7 awaits BJMP nod to investigate ‘anomalies’ inside Cebu City Jail

THE Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) is ready to conduct an investigation regarding an inmate’s allegation that some officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who are assigned in the Cebu City Jail are involved in illegal activities.

Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, who serves as spokesperson for PRO 7 Director Brig. Gen. Jerry Bearis, said the case is an internal matter that should be investigated.

“This involves BJMP personnel allegedly so what we’ll do is we will conduct an investigation upon request from BJMP. Of course, we will be willing to investigate, especially if we can co-relate it to contrabands that the police are after,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Pelare said that if they are allowed to launch an investigation, it will look into the criminal acts allegedly committed by the involved BJMP personnel.

He said they will try to determine if contraband items like cellphones are being used in illegal drug transactions inside the jail.

He said the PRO 7 considers the allegations of an inmate as serious, adding that these deserve to be investigated as the matter might address the proliferation of illegal drugs in the entire Central Visayas.

Meanwhile, Pelare said he has no idea where the inmate is currently in custody.

“I have no information about the informant. But, as a matter of procedure, informants are always secured, especially in the PNP, because they are giving information that could probably solve a certain case,” he said.

He said they’ll try to find a way not to have the inmate committed inside the Cebu City Jail while the investigation is ongoing.

Berto (not his real name) had alleged that contraband items like cellphones were rampant inside the facility because some jail officials allowed their entry in exchange for P50,000 up to P60,000 per unit.

He said most of those involved in the smuggling were old-timers.

He said these jail officials would inform inmates about impending greyhound operations and instruct them where to hide their gadgets, but big-time drug personalities would just leave their gadgets with them for safekeeping.

The BJMP, especially the warden of the Cebu City Jail, had assured that it would look into the allegations.

In 2022, the BJMP, with the assistance of the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Central Visayas, conducted surprise greyhound operations in several jail facilities in Central Visayas, including the Cebu City Jail, but did not find any contraband. (AYB / PJB)