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Drug personalities crowd W. Visayas jail

ILOILO CITY – Jails in Western Visayas region are overcrowded with the Duterte administration’s non-stop war against drugs.

Superintendent Gilbert Peremne, regional chief of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-6), said congestion rate has reached about 405 percent.

Peremne said the rising number of prisoners in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo provinces are those arrested for drug-related charges.

Of the 16 jails in the region, the Iloilo City District Jail is the most overcrowded. Warden Vicente Papelera said the facility can only accommodate 400 prisoners, but it currently has more than 900 inmates.

Iloilo City’s female jail is also overcrowded. Inspector Imee Lopera said it houses 159 female prisoners when it is only supposed to accommodate 28.

The Iloilo Provincial District Jail in Pototan town has a 60-percent congestion rate. Inspector Abner Zamora said it is currently accommodating 1,509 male prisoners and 93 female prisoners. It includes the 200 prisoners from Iloilo City, which cannot be accommodated by the jail there.

Meanwhile, BJMP-6 is looking to expand jail facilities in the five provinces. While there is funding from national government, there is no land to build or expand new correctional facilities. (Tara Yap)