PDEA, BJMP sign agreement to curb illegal drug activities in prisons
MANILA, Philippines – In the wake of reports of illicit drug activities behind bars, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced Saturday the renewal of its partnership with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to curb the drug trade in prisons.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. and BJMP Director Rosendo M. Dial signed on Friday a memorandum of agreement to continue the cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies.
“The new agreement intends to address the prevalence of illegal drug activities perpetrated by drug lords already in jails,” PDEA said in a statement.
Unlike the previous agreement, the new MOA “shall be in full force for as long as there is consensus between PDEA and BJMP to continue the agreement and until such time that one or both parties decide to terminate the MOA,” Gutierrez said.
The previous three-year MOA between PDEA and BJMP expired in April.
Under the MOA, the PDEA and BJMP will share intelligence and pursue joint investigation efforts in the conduct of anti-drug operations in facilities under BJMP’s jurisdiction.
PDEA, on the other hand, is authorized to conduct surprise inspections within jail premises in coordination with the officials of BJMP.
The MOA likewise assures the speedy transfer of arrested drug personalities temporarily detained in the PDEA custodial facility to the appropriate jail in accordance with the law.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima revealed that drug activities flourished in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), which is under the control of the Bureau of Corrections, not the BJMP.
Citing information from sources, De Lima also said some drug kingpins in the NBP had been bribing jail officials from P3 million-P5 million in exchange for having their rivals transferred to far-flung penal colonies.
A recent inspection of the NBP by the justice committee at the House of Representatives further revealed apparent privileges for moneyed inmates, including Chinese drug lords.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.