A priest who led a Holy Mass inside the Bohol District Jail (BDJ) Sunday afternoon reportedly almost unwittingly smuggled contraband into the jail facility.
According to BDJ administrative officer Jumbo Abad, Father James Darunday, BDJ resident chaplain, brought to the jail facilty a large plastic box of biscuits which also contained 50 packs of cigarettes and 90 pieces of packed tobacco leaves.
Darunday who regularly officiates Mass at the BDJ was reportedly requested by the wife of detained drug suspect Rey Gaco, identified only as Aya, to deliver to said inmate the box of biscuits wherein the pieces of contraband were concealed.
The priest told dyRD Balita that he was unaware of the box’s contents as the cigarettes and tobacco rolls were hidden beneath the biscuits.
According to Darunday, he had told Aya that he will be letting jail guards inspect the box to which she reportedly replied, “OK ra na, father. Wala man nay problema.”
Abad also confirmed that it was Darunday himself who asked jail guards to inspect the box while the latter proceeded to celebrate Mass.
However, Darunday will no longer be allowed entry into the facility pending the investigation on the smuggle attempt.
According to Abad, Darunday may have been used by Gaco’s wife to smuggle the contraband into the jail facility, but this failed as the priest himself asked for the thorough inspection of the box.
Cigarettes and similar contraband such as tobacco leaves are considered as “nuisance contraband,” said Abad.
Based on gathered reports, cigarettes are sold at much higher prices inside the BDJ compared to their regular retail value.
One pack of cigarettes is reportedly sold at P600 pesos while a bunch of tobacco leaves is priced at approximately P800.
Meanwhile, Abad said that BDJ officials have been implementing stringent security measures inside the facility but suspects continue to come up with different means to smuggle in contraband.
BDJ officials will also be reviewing guidelines as to whether a penalty will be meted out against Gaco. (Allen Doydora)