San Andres BJMP officers facing relief over cover-up
posted 25-Nov-2019  ·  
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The regional office of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is set to relieve officers of the San Andres district jail following an alleged cover-up of the trading of illegal drugs inside the facility.

According to a reliable source, BJMP regional director Jail Senior Superintendent Cesar Langawin reportedly stated that he will remove those suspected of involvement from their posts even before his office’s investigation into the irregularity would be completed.

A team from BJMP Bicol arrived at the jail last week to formally open a probe into allegations that the shabu seized last Oct. 20 was being smuggled out of the facility.

A jail officer had told the Tribune that CCTV footage showed college freshman Gerald Gianan, 18, was already on his way out when he was frisked by JO1 Joshua Magtangob, who found the three medium-sized sachets of shabu in Gianan’s shorts.

More than 40 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) also sent a letter to Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Genie G. Gapas-Agbada alleging that at least three jail guards were selling illegal drugs inside the district jail.

“…Kami po ay mga resedente ng San Andres District Jail ay nagrereklamo sa dahilan po sa paghigpit sa amin sa loob ng kulungan dahil sa droga na nakompiska palabas na dala ng isang dalaw na sa katunayan po ang drogang iyon ay ibinigay sa amin para ibenta at pag-aari ng tatlong ambisyosong guard…dahil sa akala nila na naistapa na sila kaya hinuli nila u taong maglalabas ng droga na mismong sila pa ang nag timbre na ilabas muna sa jail ang droga dahil magkakaroon ng Greyhound.,” they claimed.

The letter disclosed to Judge Agbada the surnames of the three guards, all with the rank of Jail Officer 1.

Several PDLs also confirmed to the police that they were using drugs inside the facility, the source said.

According to the informant, Gerald entered the jail shortly after 1 P.M. that day, bringing pizza to 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 food was shared by the brothers to a jail guard and several detainees.

After the visiting time was over, Norman allegedly inserted something on the waistline of his younger brother who was then surprisingly subjected to a body search on his way out at 2:30 P.M.

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

The jail report claimed the contraband was found just as Gerald was about to visit an inmate.

Why it took this long for Sanchez to report the seizure of the shabu is a mystery to the probers, who were likewise told by the jail officers that the CCTV system was on real-time viewing only and that a review of the video recordings of the past hours or day was not possible.

The San Andres police itself is wondering what happened to the CCTV since its investigators had used it several days earlier in an attempt to identity perpetrators of several robberies in the area.

This development, the source opined, is eerily similar to what happened to the CCTV system at the shabu lab in Palta Small, Virac in 2016.

During the search of the clandestine drug lab, an intelligence officer removed the recording device from the TV set and when the evidence was examined a few days later, the CCTV recorder presented was already rusty and missing its hard drive although the rest of the system, from the cameras to the wires, were said to be new.

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