Drug trade continued to flourish at the Bohol District Jail (BDJ) as proven in the latest greyhound inspection launched by the composite team of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the provincial government’s quick response team- – Telephone and Radio System Integrated Emergency Response 117 (TaRSIER 117).
The composite team of PNP, PDEA and TaRSIER 117 confiscated 12 sachets of shabu with market value of P24,000. The shabu was seized during the greyhound inspection conducted last Monday at 7:30 a.m.
At least 10 sachets of shabu were found at the Prison Cells 17 shared by 38 inmates. Two of the sachets were long size while eight were in smaller sizes.
The raiding team also confiscated a folded cigarette silver foil containing blue substance.
According to Montejo, the sachets of shabu were already about to be flushed in the toilet bowl inside Cell 17, but were recovered by the raiding team.
The raiding team found that the sachets of shabu were tied together on one end by a plastic tie, believing that the inmates who placed it in the lavatory had the intention of recovering it once the raiding team would have left.
Montejo vowed to investigate who among the 38 inmates in Cell 17 sneaked in the packs of shabu.
As of now, none among the 38 inmates admitted to the illegal activity of sneaking in shabu inside the prison cell.
Scissors and other bladed weapons, cellphones and other prohibited items were also confiscated during last Monday’s greyhound inspection.
BDJ Jail Warden Felipe Montejo said 75 percent of the 949 inmates at the jail facility are drug offenders. The jail is very much congested as it can accommodate only 400 inmates. To present the jail is populated with more than double than what it can actually accommodate.
It maybe recalled that in a greyhound operation last October 11, authorities confiscated plastic sachets with traces of shabu inside the same jail facility, also along with other prohibited items such as cellphones, bladed weapons, drug paraphernalia during a greyhound inspection.
The police team who conducted the greyhound inspection also confiscated money from two female inmates during the October operation.
One of them yielded P25,000, while the other yielded P22,000.
Montejo had pointed out at that time that no inmate is allowed to keep large amount of money.
Montejo explained that the P25,000 found in the possession of one of the female inmates was the unremitted proceeds of the coop income, since she was entrusted for the jail commissary.
The P22,000 confiscated from another female inmate was accordingly such inmate’s personal money intended to pay her lawyer.
In an earlier greyhound inspection in May, an inmate identified as Christopher Buslon was found in possession of P29,000.
In August, another inmate identified as Ginomar Pelayre was found in possession of P69,000 the greyhound inspection.
Surprise inspections had been conducted from time to time at the BDJ after reports that the jail facility had been like the “New Bilibid Prison” in terms of the underground economy of illegal drugs trade.
The controversy first floated to the public eyes in late October last year with theories that “Bilibid” practices had been tolerated at the BDJ which alarmed some provincial officials.
The controversy arose after the former wife of a detainee at the BDJ alerted the media how her former husband managed to contact her.
The woman was the former wife of Armando Digal, a detainee then facing drug charges.
She squealed that Digal was still able to contact her through cellphone while inside the jail.
The former wife said the detainee had been threatening her and felt harassed by such act.
Noting on the profiles of the people surrounding Digal, his former wife warned that what sparked the controversy at the New Bilibid Prison involving high-profile drug personalities might be taking form at the BDJ.
The first indications started with access to communication gadgets provided to high-profile detainees, she hinted.
On this, she warned that she would report the incident to higher officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) if it would be allowed to go on.
Digal was intercepted by the NBI-Bohol team in an operation on June 7, 2015 in barangay Jimilian, Loboc.
NBI-Bohol learned that Digal, then at 39 was a jobless resident of Poblacion in Sierra-Bullones and only made it to high school level.
During the operation, the NBI team confiscated five medium-size sachets of shabu and another pack of shabu in a big sachet with estimated weight of11.3421 grams and estimated value of around P200,000 from Digal.
Digal also yielded 16 live ammunitions of caliber 45, two magazines, one Colt caliber .45 pistol with serial no. 527492, four identification cards, cash amounting to P6,810 in different denominations.
Digal was charged for violations of RA 9165 based on section 11 under Article 11, and Republic Act 10591 or the New Firearms Law under sections 28 and 32 in relation to the Comelec gun ban.
Digal, a relative of Erico Digal- -tagged as druglord based in Carmen, had also served as the latter’s driver.
On October 1 last year, the composite police team from the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG), Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (RAIDSOTG), Carmen police station, and the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) raided the ancestral residence of Carmen-based druglord, Erico Digal, and his younger brother, Romeo.
However, Erico had already left to another country and only Romeo was arrested.
The composite police team confiscated two “bulto” size of shabu worth of P59,000 and bundles of cash amounting to P1.4 million during the raid.
The police officers also confiscated a .38-caliber revolver loaded with six .357 ammunitions, a fragmentation grenade, and a rifle which turned out to be an Airsoft gun that resembled an M4 rifle.