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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting the entry of nuisance contraband inside the Baguio City Jail and other reformatory centers in the city and providing penalties for violation and for other purposes.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab defined contraband as items specifically prohibited by jail management to be brought inside the facility and for the purpose of applicability to the proposed measure, the term contraband shall be further divided into illegal contrabands, nuisance contraband, among others.
The ordinance stipulates its provisions shall apply to all persons, whether or not a resident of the city, who shall wilfully possess, sneak or carry or use or attempt to cause or bring into the jail or reformatory facility any contraband.
Based on the provisions of the proposed local legislative measure, any person who shall wilfully possess, sneak, carry, use or cause or attempt to cause to bring to the jail or reformatory facility any contraband per accident shall be meted the penalty of a fine amounting to P3,000 for the first offense, a fine amounting to P4,000 for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment for a period of not more than 6 months or both upon the discretion of the court for the third and succeeding offenses.
The ordinance asserts all contrabands confiscated in the enforcement of the measure shall be forfeited in favour of the local government or disposed pursuant with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) standard operating procedures No. 2010-05 or other applicable laws, rules and regulations.
The ordinance mandates the BJMP and the City Social Welfare and Development Office to conduct pat search on any person entering the jail or reformatory facilities, respectively, and shall monitor the strict implementation of the pending measure.
Further, the BJMP and the CSWDO are also mandated to post a notice in conspicuous places of the items defined and penalized as contraband under the provisions of the proposed ordinance.
Prior to the conduct of the required pat search, the ordinance states that the persons entering the jail or reformatory facility shall be given an opportunity or advised to surrender or remove from his or her possession any items considered as contraband and upon declaration that he or she has no more items to surrender or to be removed, the jail or social welfare personnel shall search the person or his or her belongings and any contraband found in the person shall be pressured as wilful possession of the same.
The ordinance requires the BJMP and CSWDO to submit a periodic report to the local legislative body as to the implementation of the measure for information and proper guidance of the local legislators for whatever action that will be done in the future.
On the other hand, the City Legal Office, in close coordination, cooperation and collaboration with the BJMP-Baguio City and CSWDO, shall strictly enforce the pertinent provisions of the ordinance and that the concerned offices shall formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the measure within 30 days after its approval and the same shall be immediately submitted for approval by the City Mayor.
By Dexter A. See