BJMP-7 probes priest’s jail contraband case

The regional office of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has launched an investigation on the reportedly inadvertent smuggling of contraband by a priest into the Bohol District Jail (BDJ) last month.

According to BDJ warden Chief Insp. Felipe Montejo, the probe was set as response to the appeal of Fr. James Darunday for the jail’s disciplinary board to reconsider its sanction to ban him from entering the facility.

The investigation will be conducted for two days while jail authorities will then review their findings and decide whether or not to move in favor of Darunday’s motion for reconsideration, said Montejo.


Since the incident, there were no Sunday Masses held inside the BDJ as there was no assigned priest to replace Darunday who has been the jail’s chaplain for seven years.

BDJ authorities however are preparing to submit a letter to formally request for another priest to hold mass inside the BDJ, Montejo added.

The jail warden clarified that the BDJ has not cut ties with the Church and other priests as the facility’s population particularly the detainees are in need of spiritual guidance.

The disciplinary board’s decision to bar Darunday from entering jail underwent proper procedure in accordance with the facility’s policies, Montejo said.

According to a BDJ investigation report, Darunday broke prison rules after he brought to the facility a biscuit container which contained 50 packs of cigarettes and 93 pieces of tobacco leaves on Nov. 26.

Darunday however was the one who asked jail guards to inspect the box as this was reportedly given to him by one Maria Rosario Patac who requested him to give the biscuit container to detainee Rey Gako.

Patac and Gako were parishioners of Darunday in Barangay Baang, Catigbian. (A. Doydora)

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