Mayor Joy Belmonte calls for reforms after Quezon City Jail riot

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Reforms are needed in penal institutions following the riot in the Quezon City jail sparked by efforts to curb the illegal drug trade in the prison, according to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.

Belmonte appealed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to change how things are done.

Among the changes that could be implemented are intensified measures to prevent the entry and proliferation of drugs and deadly weapons in the detention centers, the implementation of a stricter and humane policy, and the training of personnel to make them less tempted to accept bribes to look away from wrongdoing, she said.

“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,” she said in a statement.

She called on the next DILG chief to push 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,” she said.

Based on an intelligence report, the recent riot was staged to force the removal of Male Dormitory Warden Supt. Michelle Bonto after she led efforts to curb the drug trade in the prison.

The QC jail’s intelligence unit has since led an operation to confiscate smuggled and illegal devices and drugs hidden in cells.

It has yielded the biggest number of deadly weapons and illegal drugs found in the Quezon City Jail Male Dormitory.

Belmonte hailed Bonto for this 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,” she said.

She also said the Quezon City government would continue to support the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.