LUCENA CITY -- Aimed at preempting the occurrence of criminal activities inside the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) custodial facilities, the Quezon Police Provincial Office on Friday launched “Oplan Selda” at the Quezon District Jail (Quezon Provincial Jail) and at the Lucena District Jail.
Led by Quezon police director, Senior Supt. Antonio Yarra, the surprised inspection of the facilities resulted in the discovery and seizure of assorted drug paraphernalia, a number of transparent heat sealed plastic sachets with white crystalline substance believed to be shabu, dried marijuana leaves, assorted aluminum foil with shabu residue, assorted bladed weapons, cellular phones, SIM cards, cash amounting to 63,000 and other prohibited items like electronic gadgets.
In an interview, Yarra said the operation was also a way of assuring the safety of other inmates who are not committing wrongdoing inside the jail facilities.
He said there were reports coming to his office regarding the alleged illegal activities inside the facilities like the smuggling of prohibited drugs and deadly weapons.
Chief Insp. Elena Eleazar said Yarra and his team were accompanied by Department of the Interior and Local Government provincial director Lionel Dalope, representatives from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and national and local media.
Using personnel of the Quezon Provincial Public Safety Company (QPPSC) under Chief Insp. William Angway, Eleazar said the team swooped down on the two District jails early Friday.
She said all the inmates were directed to get out of their respective cells shortly before the inspection was conducted.
“Using K-9 dogs, all the cells were inspected one after the other and the rest of the facilities,” said Eleazar.
In May 2014, four inmates were killed while 16 others were wounded when a violent commotion transpired inside the Quezon District Jail.
The incident was triggered by a leader inmate belonging to the Sputnik Gang who instigated his co-inmates to stage a riot in connection with their disgust with the jail mismanagement.
Reacting from a call coming from the jail warden, then Lucena City police director, Supt. Allen Rae Co immediately responded with his SWAT personnel and confronted the rallying inmates, some of them armed with guns and bladed weapons.
During the clearing operation, police recovered a home-made shotgun, a cal. 22 revolver, 6 pieces of cartridge cases for Armalite rifle and bladed weapons.
Before his relief as BJMP regional director, Chief Supt. Serafin Barreto admitted the presence of guns and deadly weapons inside the jail facility before the members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan who summoned him and his jail warden to shed light on the issue.