31 guards at Iloilo jail sacked
ILOILO CITY—About half of the personnel of Iloilo District Jail (IDJ) have been relieved amid allegations of drug transactions taking place inside the facility.
Lawyer and Senior Supt. Rex Delarmente, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Western Visayas director, ordered the relief of 31 personnel, or the whole custodial unit of IDJ in Barangay Nanga in Pototan town, Iloilo province.
The order took effect on May 22.
The personnel swapped assignments with personnel from the BJMP facilities in Iloilo City, Dumangas town in Iloilo and Guimaras Island.
The custodial unit includes all jail guards assigned to IDJ’s perimeter, gate, towers and visiting areas.
Other cops to be relieved
Delarmente also recommended the relief of Senior Insp. Abner Zamora, IDJ warden, and Insp. Henry Harder, deputy warden, to the Department of the Interior and Local Government and BJMP central office.
“This is to dispel or erase doubts,” Delarmente said.
The BJMP Western Visayas has also requested its central office, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to conduct an independent investigation on the allegations.
Supervised by IDJ inmate
Three alleged drug pushers, all women, who were arrested in two separate buy-bust operations, had earlier claimed in radio interviews that they were being supervised by an inmate at IDJ.
Delarmente said jail officials conducted an investigation but the allegations were denied by all IDJ personnel.
None of the inmates also corroborated the allegations. The arrested suspected pushers refused to cooperate with investigators.
“We have implemented the reshuffling to give way to an independent investigation,” Delarmente said.
The IDJ has at least 1,800 inmates, including “high-value targets” in the war on drugs.
All those arrested in the antidrug campaign in Iloilo since July last year have been detained at the facility because other jails in the province are already congested.
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