Former city jail warden found positive of drug use
Fourinmates were killed while four police officers were hurt in a jail riot as inmates reportedly attacked inspecting officers conducting a greyhound operation at the City Jail in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District yesterday morning.
A ranking jail officer who is the former city jail warden and nine other inmates were tested positive during a drug test conducted right after the incident.
Sr. Insp. Maria Theresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), identified the fatalities as Alvin Celis, Dexter Delfino, Flor Leonard Resturo, and Jerry Fernandez. No further details were given on the background of the dead prisoners.
The wounded police personnel were identified as PO2 Jonie Dela Fuente, PO1 Vincent Lomoljo and PO1 Ramon Rey Uyanguren. They all sustained stab wounds.
Another officer, PO3 Mark Anthony Cameros, survived a gunshot in his chest as he was wearing an armored vest.
Gaspan said the surprise jail inspection, dubbed as Durian Wall, was conducted early yesterday morning with a joint team composed of personnel from the Police Regional Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Regional Mobile Force Battalion.
The operatives were taking out one by one the inmates for the body and cell searches and subsequent drug test.
But at the Cell No. 18 of the BJMP Annex Building, four inmates refused to go.
One of the inmates suddenly pulled an improvised gun known as a sumpak and fired it towards one of the inspecting officers, later identified as Cameros, Gaspan said.
It was around 10:30 a.m.
Cameros, the officer said, was hit in his chest but he survived as he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Gaspan said Cameros was forced to retaliate and fire shots towards the attacker.
The other operatives tried to secure the other inmates but were instead attacked with bladed weapons. This also prompted them to fire their guns to immobilize the attackers.
As the four inmates were already in the ground, operatives rushed them to the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC).
Gaspan said the inmates died while undergoing treatment. Their bodies are presently at the morgue of the hospital while awaiting forensic investigation.
The cell search also resulted to the recovery of two big sachets containing 15 grams of shabu with an estimated value of P160,000, several drugs paraphernalia and deadly weapons.
In the random drug test that was conducted to the personnel of BJMP and the inmates, 10 were found positive, including a ranking jail officer.
Jail Chief Inspector Roman Hernandez Jr., the BJMP provincial jail administrator who was once the warden of the city jail, was among those who tested positive along with the nine inmates.
Gaspan said the greyhound operation was conducted because they received report that some jail officers are involved in illegal drug trade.
Last month, the BJMP claimed there were no illegal drugs found at the city jail during an inspection they conducted.
The inspection was done after police arrested a woman who was said to be the drug supplier inside the city jail.
Last year, the BJMP declared the Davao City Jail Annex and Davao City Female Jail Dorm as a drug-free facility.