By Rio N. Araja
THE Quezon City government on Thursday appealed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to institute prison reforms after several deadly weapons were discovered recently inside the city’s jail facility in Barangay Kamuning.
At the same time, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmont lauded Supt. Michelle Bonto, Quezon City Jail warden, for spearheading Operation Greyhound inside the male dormitory last Monday that led to the confiscation of guns, ammunition, marijuana, improvised bladed weapons, ice picks, Indian arrows made out of concrete nails, lighters, screw drivers and cell phones, all hidden inside the walls.
Inmates, also called persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) belonging to rival gangs staged earlier a riot inside the facility, leaving one detainee dead and several others wounded.
“One of the duties provided for by jail institutions is to give them (prisoners) a new lease of life and reflect on their sins. But how can we change the lives of our PDLS if they are still hooked on drugs and are involved in riots,” the city government said.
“That’s why I call on our DILG, the current and upcoming SILG, to press for prison reforms. They can counter wrongdoings inside the institution if we address the PDL’s needs, implement a stricter and humane prison policy, and more importantly, capacitate our police and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel and make them less tempted to accept bribes in exchange for the unhampered entry of weapons and drugs,” Belmonte said.
Bonto said the BJMP personnel smashed walls and did excavation works that led to the discovery of the contrabands.
She vowed to pursue another series of Operation Greyhound at the Quezon City Jail to curb illicit activities there.
“I salute jail warden Bonto for the success of the operation, which stops the proliferation of drugs and contrabands inside the prison. The city government is one in ending the drug problem and other illegal activities,” the city cited.
Last April, the city government turned over the newly built BJMP facility located inside Barangay Payatas to help decongest the old jail.
BJMP chief Allan Iral said the “effectiveness of the developmental programs implemented by the BJMP, particularly on drug awareness and its corresponding rehabilitation and treatment programs, will contribute immensely in lowering the recidivism rate of the PDLs.”