Separate facility for drug lords proposed

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To prevent convicted big-time drug offenders from continuing their operations by using regular inmates at the national penitentiary, Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, has filed a proposed measure seeking the establishment of a separate facility that will house drug lords.

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Sotto in his explanatory note of Senate Bill 3226, said recent incidents proved that convicted drug lords continue to ply their trade inside the premises of the national penitentiary, probably with the aid of regular inmates.

The Senator was referring to the series of raids conducted Bureau of Corrections personnel that led to the confiscations of various contrabands including illegal drugs and paraphernalia inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

In December last year, enforcers from the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police, also found drug-making equipment inside NBP’s maximum security compound.

According to Sotto the present treatment program and detention security measures in the Bureau of Corrections are inadequate to prevent convicted drugs lords from continuing with their illegal practices even while in detention at the NBP.

He noted that the philosophy of penology recognizes the need to classify the prisoners into reasonable categories for rehabilitation, treatment and protection of society.

“This is one of the mandated responsibilities of the Bureau of Corrections in safekeeping inmates and completely incapacitating them, especially high-level illegal-drugs offenders, while serving their sentences,” Sotto said.

Under the proposed measure, different categories of drug offenders and inmates will be kept in separate institutions or parts of institutions taking into account their sex, criminal records, legal status of their detention and the requirements for their rehabilitation.

Section 10 of the proposed measure also calls for a regular internal and external inspection to be conducted by the prison administration and Anti-Drug Board respectively, to ensure that the institution is administered in accordance with existing laws and regulations and to bring about the attainment of the objectives of the penal system.

The bill also stated that “there shall be conducted a regular random drug testing among the inmates in the Anti-Drug Penal Institution. The random drug testing shall be done by any forensic laboratories or by any of the drug testing laboratories accredited and monitored by the Department of Health to safeguard the quality of test results.”

The proposed Anti-Drug Penal Institution will have the same design of prison facilities, reformation and administrative facilities as all the other prisons and penal farms of the Bureau of Corrections.

JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

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