Guards selling shabu in San Andres district jail?
posted 24-Nov-2019  ·  
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Residents of the San Andres district jail have claimed that some personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) are selling illegal drugs right inside the facility.

In a letter purportedly sent to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada last week, the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) complained that the jail guards have been very strict since shabu was seized from a visitor while going out of the facility last Oct. 20, 2019.

They alleged that, in truth, the illegal drugs are owned by three jail guards and being given to the detainees so be sold.

The letter cited the surnames of the three jail guards, all with the rank of Jail Officer 1.

The 42 PDLs who signed the letter-complaint said the three guards thought that they were being shortchanged so they asked the guard at the gate to frisk and arrest the student.

The letter also claimed that the suspect, Gerald Reyes Gianan, 18, a first-year college student and resident of Constantino, Virac, had been asked by the guards to smuggle the shabu out as the BJMP was set to implement Operation Greyhound intended to crack down on illegal drugs and contraband inside the jail.

Aside from this, the petitioners alleged, the food being given to them is no longer enough, with the jail facility scrimping on food expenses so the savings would go to a high official.

Except for four detainees’ first names, the letter bore only the signatures of the alleged complaining PDLs who asked Judge Agbada to act on their complaint.

The PDLs’ petition was reportedly submitted to the Hall of Justice just after the student was caught in possession of suspected illegal drugs last Oct. 20.

According to the San Andres police, they received a cellphone call from SJO4 Reymond Sanchez, officer-in-charge of BJMP San Andres, at around 5:45 P.M. regarding the incident.

Investigation conducted by police officers PMSg. Mark Orasa disclosed that around 2:30 P.M. that afternoon while the suspect was about to visit an inmate, he was subjected to a body frisk by JO1 Earl Joshua Magtangob and was caught in possession of three (3) pcs medium-sized heat-sealed plastic sachets containing granules of white crystalline substance that later tested positive for shabu with a total weight of 13.769 grams.

Also confiscated from him were several non-drug items including one small sando bag, a piece of crumpled paper, five (5) medium-sized empty transparent plastic sachets, and a black Huawei cellphone.

The inventory of the seized items was conducted in the presence of the suspect, barangay kagawads Robin Iñigo and Ruben Sodela, and media representative Janelyn Rima.

A jail officer in San Andres, however, told the Tribune last week that a review of the CCTV camera footage at the BJMP facility showed that Gerald was already inside jail, presumably having underwent a body search at gate, and was on his way out when frisked by JO1 Magtangob.

This version of events holds that the shabu was given to Gerald by his brother, Norman Gianan, who along with his live-in partner was sentenced to a total of 16 years in prison and to pay a fine of P310,000 each just three days later.

The incident has prompted the BJMP regional office to send a team of investigators to San Andres jail to probe the incident but results have yet to be released.

There have been reports of illegal drugs being smuggled into the two district jails in the past.

In February 2016, a 12-year old boy tried to hand over a pair of shorts, inside of which were hidden a “bulto” of shabu weighing five grams, to inmate Manuel “Galog” Huit Jr.

The boy, the son of a couple detained for drug offenses, had been given a cellphone by a woman, who instructed him to deliver the shorts to the detainee.

Huit was arrested on Jan. 19, 2016 along with four others in an anti-drug operation at Queen Maricel Inn in San Isidro Village, Virac, yielding almost a kilo of shabu as well as two Cal. 38 revolvers and 11 bullets.

Sometime later, Huit allegedly managed to smuggle shabu into the San Andres jail with the help of unidentified cohorts. It is alleged that the drug were sold and used in sniffing sessions by fellow inmates, all detained for drug offenses, in the three dorms they occupied. At least 20 detainees allegedly bought and used the smuggled shabu, portions of which cost some of them a thousand pesos each.

It was also claimed that a female visitor of the alleged drug pusher tried to sneak in a cellphone, hiding the gadget at the bottom part of her sandal which had opened and then sewed shut. Another guard also said that the woman also smuggled in a cigarette lighter which she had inserted in her private part.

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