About 70 percent of the current inmates in the Davao del Norte provincial jail have been incarcerated connected to illegal drugs.
Assistant provincial jail warden Marilyn Erolon said in an interview Thursday that she observed that gone are the days when the provincial jail was populated by inmates who committed holdups, robberies and crimes against properties.
“At present, we have total of 162 inmates, 153 are male and 9 are female. About 70 percent of them have been imprisoned due to illegal drugs,” she said.
She said that “drug-connected” inmates have varying cases, adding that from some confessions inside the jail said that inmates facing the crime of rape had committed the crime because they were high on shabu drug.
She said that when she said illegal drug it is meant to be shabu as inmates jailed due to marijuana was no longer in vogue unlike in the past.
“It’s shabu now,” Erolon said, shaking her head to gesture how shabu has spread unabated throughout the country since the early 90s and on the unexpected biggest magnitude and scale of the drug problem that the Duterte administration only exposed in its current war against drugs.
She gave a high thumb-up to the total war against drugs of President Duterte, saying that “he is really God-sent for in the next ten years without him as our President many Filipinos we would become zombies.”
“We won’t know that whom we are facing on the streets are zombies,” she added.
Erolon has been serving the provincial jail as province-paid employee for 28 years now.
The inmates in Davao del Norte provincial jail came from the province’s towns of New Corella, Kapalong, Talaingod and Asuncion, which all have only small municipal-level jails.
Other jails in the province can afford to hold or not to remand their inmates to the provincial jail as they have bigger, district-capacity jails.
These are the Panabo District Jail, Samal District Jail and Tagum City Jail. The Panabo District Jail also accommodates inmates from the towns of Sto. Tomas and BE Dujali.
Last Oct. 3, 2012, the provincial government and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) forged a memorandum of agreement making the latter as the management of the jail and putting the 13 province-paid employees under its supervision.
BJMP augmented the provincial jail with a deployment of its own 20 jail officers.
But the adjacent provincial jail of Compostela Valley has more than 600 inmates under the watch of the security personnel of its provincial government.
Since the separation of the Compostela Valley from the erstwhile bigger
Davao del Norte in 1998, its provincial jail is still located within the same jailing compound within the provincial Capitol complex of Davao del Norte in Brgy. Mankilam, Tagum City.
The provincial jail of Compostela Valley located in Brgy. Cabidianan, Nabunturan is not yet completed since it was started to be established four years ago. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)