Drug suspects congest Cagayan jails

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan:  About half the number of detainees congesting various jails in the Cagayan Valley region are facing drug-related cases, according to the Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology (BJMP).

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BJMP officials said detainees with drug charges in violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 compose 45 percent of the 1,041 population of the jails, topping murder and robbery cases.

Jail Chief Inspector Juliet Miranda said that with the increasing number of detainees involved in drugs, detention centers in the region are now becoming heavily congested at 50-90 percent.

“The reason for the congestion is that most drugs-related cases are non bailable, thus, forming the bulk of the population in detention centers,” Miranda said.

Under the BJMP’s control, there are at least 17 detention centers in Cagayan Valley which are expected to double in population in the next few months with the incoming admi­nistration’s aggressive policy against criminality, particularly drugs.

Miranda said there is a need for the bureau to concentrate on the paralegal aspect of jail management to possibly contain the overpopulation of residents.

“Rather than focusing on constructing more buildings for detainees, it is better to hasten early release of our clients,” Miranda said.

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