Puerto Princesa City Jail implements stricter visitation policy

It is the end of glory days for relatives and family members of detainees at the Puerto Princesa City Jail (PPCJ) because the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) just imposed recently a stricter visitation policy to prevent the entry, use, and movement of banned supplies and illegal drugs within jail premises.

Jail Senior Inspector Ariel Pabulayan said the stricter visitation policy had to be imposed following the “Oplan Greyhound” his management conducted with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Surveillance Operations Task Force (CAIDSOTF) on October 19.

Greyhound operation in the BJMP manual is routine or surprise detention cell inspection carried out to ensure detainees are not violating jail policies.

Pabulayan said the conduct of the recent greyhound found drug paraphernalia and a significant amount of shabu from two detainees, confirming violation of jail policies involving drugs.

He said female visitors have been discovered to be hiding some of the illegal supplies in their underclothing, and this is why they have now become stricter in doing the “frisking and strip-search method.”

He explained that in frisking, anything being brought inside the jail must undergo thorough checking before visitors, who carry them, are allowed to actually bring them to the detainee they are visiting. The area where this is done is near the entrance of the jail.

Female jail guards, on the other hand, are in charge of the strip-search method, he explained. This is for female visitors, who are creative enough to hide what they do not allow inside their underwear.

“If the visitor is female, our female jail guards will check their undergarments. If the visitor is male, male guards are in charge,” Pagulayan clarified.

All detainees, including ex-Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, are only allowed to accept visitors from Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. No visitors are allowed on Monday.

He said that though they cannot fully claim that the jail is free of drugs, they are exhausting all possible efforts to address the problem.

“We will not stop until we have cleaned the city jail of illegal drugs because it is a reformatory center,” he stated.

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