PDEA, BJMP sign MOA to conduct jail drug-clearing operations

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to conduct regular drug-clearing operations in all city and municipal jails in the country.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino and acting Chief of the BJMP, Jail Chief Superintendent Deogracias C. Tapayan signed the agreement in a ceremony held on November 14, 2017, 4:00 in the afternoon at the PDEA Bational Headquarters in Quezon City.

“Under the MOA, PDEA and the BJMP shall conduct jail drug-clearing operations in accordance to the agreed operational strategy of both parties. We also agreed in classifying the jails to determine which ones should be subjected to immediate drug-clearing operations,” Aquino said.

The following are the classification of jails for purposes of drug-clearing operations:
a. Drug-Unaffected Jail – has not ever been plagued or beset by any illegal drug activities;
b. Drug-Affected Jail – there is an existence of illegal drug activity, user, pusher, smuggler, protector or other drug personality regardless of number, with classification as follows:

i. Seriously Affected – there is an existence of drug trafficking or smuggling activities and drug personalities such user, pusher, financier and protector;
ii. Moderately Affected – there is an existence of drug pusher(s) and/or user(s); and
iii. Slightly Affected – there is an existence of drug user(s).

c. Drug-Cleared Jail – previously classified as drug-affected and subjected to drug-clearing operations and declared free from any illegal drug activities pursuant to the parameters set forth in the MOA.

The agreement also led to the adoption of parameters for purposes of declaring drug-cleared status of drug-affected jails such as non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug smuggling activity; absence of drug pusher; absence of drug user/dependent; non-recovery of illegal drugs or paraphernalia during shakedown operations; active involvement of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) officials in anti-illegal drug activities; existence of drug awareness, preventive programs for PDL with drug-related cases.

After assessment and validation in compliance to the said parameters, as oversight committee composed of representatives from PDEA, BJMP, Philippine National Police (PNP), local government and City/Municipal Health Office, shall issue a certification declaring the “drug-cleared” status of the affected jail that has been subjected to drug-clearing operations.

Prior to the MOA, PDEA and BJMP on January 20, 2015 also created their Manual of Operations in the Conduct of Search and Seizure of Dangerous Drugs, CPECS and Drug Paraphernalia in the Jail Facilities.

“The PDEA-BJMP Manual of Operations was collaboratively done to standardize the conduct of Operation: “Greyhound” nationwide, to search and preempt the influx of prohibited items, most especially illegal drugs, inside prison cells,” Aquino said, adding that the framework of the PDEA-BJMP manual conforms to the standard and requirements of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).