Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte called on the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to institute reforms in penal institutions, including intensifying measures to prevent the proliferation of deadly weapons and drugs following the recent riot inside the Quezon City Jail in Brgy. Kamuning.

Based on an intelligence report, the riot was staged by the PDLs, particularly the Batang City Jail members, to force the removal of current QC Male Dormitory Warden JSupt. Michelle Bonto. The plan was allegedly hatched after Bonto’s team curbed the illegal drug trade inside the jail.

“Isa sa mga ginagampanan ng mga jail institution ay ang pagbibigay ng pangalawang pagkakataon sa mga mamamayan na magbago at makabangon mula sa kanilang pagkakasala. Pero, paano natin mababago ang buhay ng mga PDL kung habang nasa loob ng piitan ay nalululong sila sa ilegal na droga at nadadamay sa mga kaguluhan,” Mayor Belmonte said.

“That’s why I call on our DILG, the current and upcoming SILG, to press for prison reforms. They can counter wrongdoings inside the institution if we address the PDL’s needs, implement a stricter and humane prison policy, and more importantly, capacitate our police and BJMP personnel and make them less tempted to accept bribes in exchange for the unhampered entry of weapons and drugs,” the Mayor added.

Since the incident took place, the QC Male Dormitory – Intelligence Unit has started Operation Greyhound to confiscate all smuggled and illegal devices and drugs hidden in cells.

According to Bonto, BJMP personnel smashed walls, and did excavation works and discovered contrabands such as bladed weapons, cash and drugs.

“Operation Greyhound, which started on Monday, have confiscated guns and ammunition, marijuana, improvised bladed weapons, ice picks, indian arrows made out of concrete nails, and even lighters, screw drivers, and cellphones. Tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang operasyon natin para matigil na ang ilegal na gawain sa loob ng city jail,” Bonto explained.

The ongoing operation yielded the biggest number of deadly weapons and stash of illegal drugs found in the Quezon City Jail Male Dormitory.

Mayor Belmonte has also commended Bonto for their successful operation. 

“I salute Jail Warden Bonto for the success of the operation, which stops the proliferation of drugs and contrabands inside the prison. Natutuwa ako na kaisa kayo ng lungsod patungo sa iisang layunin: ang matuldukan ang ilegal na droga at maling gawain sa QC.”

The Quezon City government, for its part, vowed to continue providing support to BJMP. In April, the city turned over the newly-built BJMP facility along Payatas road that will help decongest the old jail. It has an adequate space for PDL’s physical activities, non-contact visitation area, laundry area, livelihood training, sports and recreational area, and medical infirmary.

“The effectiveness of the developmental programs implemented by the BJMP, particularly on drug awareness and its corresponding rehabilitation and treatment programs, will contribute immensely in lowering the recidivism rate of the PDL. BJMP is thankful for the strong support of the QC LGU in terms of programs and projects,” BJMP Chief J/Dir. Allan Iral said.