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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will launch a deeper probe into the illegal drug trade in jail facilities after receiving information about similar incidents in Northern Mindanao
In a media conference here Monday, DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. vowed that through the agency’s “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” (BIDA), incidents of illegal drugs proliferating in jail facilities will end.
“Let us see how to go about it; in the meantime, part of our program is to intensify drug testing (even for government personnel),” Abalos said.
Abalos was joined by officials of the Police Regional Office-10 (PRO-10) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 10 in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental province, to lead local activities related to the DILG’s anti-drug campaign.
Abalos said the DILG also considers the mandatory use of surveillance cameras in “sensitive areas” to ensure no persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) are being taken out to trade illegal drugs.
“We will look into the reports of cellphones (being used to communicate outside the jail),” he added.
Between 2019 and 2022, the Misamis Oriental provincial jail based in this city reported incidents involving PDLs caught engaging in illegal drugs with the help of outsiders.
Misamis Oriental Governor Pedro Unabia said he supports the DILG’s anti-drug programs.
During Monday’s event with Abalos, PRO-10 also raised awareness of the revitalized “Kasimbayanan” program, which stands for “Kapulisan, Simbahan, at Pamayanan,” that sought the police force’s partnership with religious organizations and the public against illegal drugs. (Nef Luczon/PNA)