Bohol jail authorities plead to local governments hosting jails to help them put up additional custodial facilities amidst congestion.The future looks even bleaker Â with the aggressive government drive against illegal drugs still on the throttle increasing inmates.
Bohol District Jail (BDJ) warden Jail Chief Inspector (JCInsp.) Jose Rusylvi Abueva hinted that while the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) may have some few funds for some needed facilities, host local government units (LGU) can set aside a lot for the facility, or funds for the acquisition of such.
Abueva, who was cited by the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and his supervised jail facility as among those Boholanos should be proud of, reported to the council on the state of Bohol jails.
The BDJ won the Best District Jail in the region, its third consecutive accolade, while JCInsp. Abueva was adjudged Best Jail Warden, his second since 2013.
In Bohol, the BJMP has administrative supervision of the jail facilities at the BDJ, Tagbilaran City Jail, Carmen District Jail, Talibon District Jail and Ubay District Jail.
Records from the BDJ bared that over half of the inmates staying at all the district jails are facing drug charges, further worsening the conditions of jails and its prisoners.
The BDJ for example, is suited for 400 inmates but is currently serving 748, of which 469 or 63.38% are facing drug suits.
The situation escalates to worse in Ubay which has a capacity of 30 inmates but is populated by 149 awaiting trial. Of the number, 103 inmates or 69.12% are facing drug related cases.
Then, it becomes the worst in Tagbilaran City Jail. Warden Jail Senior Inspector Mark Anthony Omega said at 275, his jail, which is set for 60 inmates, is over 800% over filled.
And of the 275 inmates, BJMP records show that 198 of City inmates are facing drug cases, which makes it 72% of the total population of the facility.
Talibon District Jail, one suited for 60 inmates has a current population of 159, of which 92 inmates are saddled with drug suits. This is 57.31% of their population.
Meanwhile in Carmen, a BJMP supervised facility of 30 now has 67 inmates where 39 are facing cases relative to drugs.
In the next days, jail authorities expect the jails to be packed to the brim as the government presses on its anti drug operations, without let-up.
Over these, BJMP hints collaboration among stakeholders to ebb the problem.
The PPOC has always witnessed how the lack of coordination between the prosecution and the police authorities result in deplorable acquittals and dismissals for lack of strong evidence to support claims or shot down on technicalities.
The excruciatingly lengthy time for a court to resolve cases is also a huge factor contributing to jail congestion, even as Governor Edgar Chatto told the peace council members about the denied request for the Supreme Court to assign more drug courts in Bohol.
While appealing for the pillars of the justice system to work, Abueva also detailed how the BJMP could ease.
Governor Chatto has reportedly approved the building of two more cells for BDJ, though that seemsÂ not to be enough.
BJMP has proposed for the putting up of more jail facilities in Loay, Jagna and Tubigon as a strategic move to decongest and set up a better network of jails, but the move has yet to get nod from local officials.
In Ubay for example, the BJMP, already funded the building of a jail complex when it got a deed of donation for a piece of land in barangay Camambugan, for a jail facility to be erected.
Separate sources said the BJMP suspended the building contract for because of problems with the contractor.
But, the funds are there, Abueva assured.Â (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)