BJMP-6 denies neglecting jails, tolerating illegal drug deals

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-6 took exception to allegations of the police on alleged mismanagement of BJMP-run facilities here.

BJMP was reacting to the statement of Police Major Joery Puerto, head of Police Station 8, to the media last week that an arrested drug suspect told the police that he was allegedly dealing with a contact inside the BJMP facility through cellular phone.

The same allegation was also revealed by another drug suspect who was arrested by the same police station early this month, according to Puerto.

In a press statement released on Monday via Facebook, the BJMP-6 said that “while they do not discount the veracity of the allegation upon which they have in fact started their own investigation, this does not make the BJMP as a whole consequently negligent.”

Puerto earlier said that based on the statement of a drug suspect, a contact inside the BJMP facility allegedly gives instructions as to when, where, and who will deliver the item to the drug suspect.

“Granting the allegations to be true and there may be personnel who are responsible for this negligence, the same has yet to be investigated but conclusive statements with a tone of condemnation attributed to the BJMP as a whole is definitely foul and irresponsible,” the BJMP-6 said in its statement.

Just like any other organizations, the BJMP-6 noted that they are also confronted with challenges and difficulties “especially during these hard times of the pandemic but the same did not deter them in meeting their mandate while observing the rule of law.”

The BJMP-6 said it wanted to make it clear that “the BJMP management does not and will never tolerate any illegal activities in the jail facilities.”

The bureau also stressed that “instead of pointing fingers and withholding information for BJMP to act upon, Puerto could have directly addressed his concern to the BJMP management over which they are very much willing to sit down and collaborate to resolve his concerns and bring to justice whoever are to be found accountable for this irregularity.”

“To destroy the reputation and image of the Jail Bureau by misplaced accusations is an insult to the untold sacrifices and hardships of those jail personnel in the different jails facilities who are diligently performing their respective functions and who are forced to surrender their own comfort to fulfill the formidable goal of the jail bureau in the battle not only against illegal drugs but also in our battle against the pandemic,” the BJMP-6 said.

The BJMP-6 also demanded a rectification and public apology from Puerto.

For his part, Puerto said that he has evidence to prove the accusation.

Puerto has also suggested if the BJMP could impose signal jammer inside the jail to prevent persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) from smuggling cellular phones or to establish contact from outside.

On the use of signal jammers, the BJMP-6 said that it is not as easy as Puerto suggested as if openly promoting it to the public.

“As a police officer, he should know that the sale, possession and use of signal jamming devices are NTC regulated,” the BJMP-6 said.

While authorization or exemption from ban may be sought from the NTC for use in jail facilities, some factors and compliance with certain parameters depending on jail settings have to be considered, the bureau said.

Metro Bacolod District Jail-Male Dormitory for instance is located inside the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) camp and installation of signal jamming devices could cause disruption of vital services of the police camp not to mention that the area is also densely populated and public access to internet signal may be affected, the bureau pointed out.

The BJMP-6 noted that coordination had previously been made with the BCPO management and the same have received strong apprehension and opposition from the BCPO itself since the jail facility is very proximate to some PNP offices performing vital functions and services.

On the other hand, the BJMP management assured the public that the BJMP remains true to its mandate by delivering its mission in support of anti-illegal drugs war.

They also recognize with appreciation the usual support of the PNP being one among their strong partners in the anti-illegal drug activities and advocacies.

Meanwhile, Puerto and BJMP officials, along with Police Colonel Thomas Joseph Martir, BCPO director are scheduled to meet here to discuss the matter.