The statement of concern raised by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in relation to stepping up security at the Davao City Jail in Maa with 41 inmates considered high profile and high risk should be given utmost attention by the city government, the military and police. Aside from five Maute members, the high-risk prisoners include nine New People’s Army (NPA) members, six Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), 18 from the military and police, and two political personnel who are involved in organized crimes based on the information given by BJMP officials. The BJMP officials would not bring up the issue if there is adequate security at the city jail. That was why their move to elevate the matter to the city council for assistance was right.
The city council initially responded by entering into an agreement with BJMP “in principle” to come up with a resolution to regulate the entry of vehicles of both residents and visitors in the city jail as well as getting details of the owners of the vehicles and other information and circumstances. The location of the city jail in Maa is seemed risky because the road going there is narrow and dark. Also it is surrounded with heavy populated villages. At this time when the city is facing the challenge of terror threats, regulating the entry of visitors in the jail as well as implementing a tight security like putting up of checkpoints in the surrounding areas is necessary.
Security concern at the city jail is an urgent matter, thus the city council should fast track the coming up of the resolution which BJMP is relying and expecting to come out soon to ensure safety inside and outside the city jail. It is understandable that there are other equally important concerns which the city council is currently working into, however, let the security at the Davao City Jail be included in the legislators’ priorities to map out any single plot of violence from the high risk inmates in cahoots with their groups and supporters from the outside. The resolution and guidelines for the jail’s security should not delay.