TAGBILARAN CITY, September 16 (PIA)—The planned expansion of local jails facilities would still be naught, with communities still wanting in convincing drug personalities to surrender and stay off the illegal trade.
That sums up the opinions of Tagbilaran City Police Chief and Bohol District Jail (BDJ) Warden who came to guest the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.
Police Superintendent Nicomedes Olaivar Jr., and Jail Chief Inspector Jose Rusylvi Abueva both agree that at the current rate of hauling suspects into jails, expansion projects would be useless.
Tagbilaran City Police are set to transfer to a new building anytime soon, one with a bigger set of lock up facility, Olaivar informed listeners.
Meanwhile, BDJ Abueva appraised listeners of Bohol proposal to fund ten more cell blocks for the BDJ.
The expansion however would still not be enough as it would drastically reduce the inmates sharing a cell block, but the remaining inmates would still be far from comfortably settling with over 10 others in a holding pen.
Slow resolution and hearing of cases by the single drug court in Bohol compound the problem, both officials who represent law enforcement and rehabilitation added.
There is only one drug court in Bohol, and that is to hear all drug cases, JCInspector Abueva said.
And while police and other law enforcement agencies press on the heat in the anti-drug drive, those suspects leaving the jails after their cases are resolved of final judgment is given, pale in comparison to those getting thrown into the slammers.
This week for example, police nabbed 9 drug suspects in different operations in one day.
And the proposal to get the jail expansions funded, in by no means a solution to the congestion problem experienced in all custodial facilities in Bohol.
Tagbilaran City District Jail, for example, is 700% overcrowded, while Bohol District Jail is almost 150% occupied, Abueva reported.
Meanwhile, the city lock up jail is not any better, said PSupt. Olaivar, who reported about 70 inmates now lumped in a facility designed for much less.
In the light of the bleak scenario of the jails, both officials however believe that the full cooperation of the community in convincing drug suspects to surrender and skip jail terms could be a strategic step to lessen congestion.
As City police chief Olaivar admitted that most of their operations are based on community shared intelligence reports, he believed that convincing these people to stop the illegal activity and be accounted in the police records could drastically lessen jail congestion.
If they surrender, unless they have criminal records, they would most likely be sent home and be summoned only for proper records updating, he disclosed.
But if they do not surrender, the police force would be forced to conduct operations against them, and this time, there won’t be any better terms than jail stay, or at least until rendered with final judgment, the former Special Weapons and Tactics chief warned.
There is so much that a community can do, JCInsp Abueva interjected, during the radio forum aired live on DyTR.
Aside from convincing drug suspects to surrender, communities can also help monitor the “surrenderers” and talk them out of the temptation to go back to the illegal activities, Abueva concluded. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)