Gwen Garcia wants House probe into viral drug raid at Cebu jail
MANILA, Philippines – House Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia condemned a recent inspection at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) that required inmates to strip naked during the search.
In a privilege speech on Wednesday, March 8, the Cebu 3rd District Representative pinned the blame on Governor Hilario Davide III.
"To summarize, there are two issues here: First, that the drug trade inside the CPDRC continues to flourish; and second, that the conduct of the raid has caused Amnesty International, other human rights groups, and ordinary citizens to rightfully decry it as abhorrent and violative of the rights of the inmates," said Garcia.
"Both issues have one common denominator: Governor Hilario Davide III. The buck stops with him," she added.
On February 28, inmates at the CPDRC were woken up before dawn, herded into the jail's quadrangle, and forced to strip naked while the authorities searched their cells. Packets of methamphetamine and marijuana leaves, knives, and mobile phones were recovered during the raid.
Photos of the inspection, which were released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the local police, went viral on social media. Amnesty International said the incident "amounts to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of prisoners." (READ: Naked prisoners in Philippine jail cause uproar)
Garcia agreed, but clarified the blame should be pinned on Davide and not President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging a bloody war against drugs.
She said that the CPDRC's situation now is a far cry from when she was still governor, when the jail became viral worldwide for its dancing inmates.
"The CPDRC under Governor Davide has become fodder for bad press – from epic jail to epic fail. I grieve with my fellow Cebuanos for its glory is but a distant memory," said Garcia.
She then said she is now "constrained" to file a House resolution calling for a probe into the jail inspection.
This is the second time that Garcia has hit Davide in a privilege speech at the House of Representatives.
In September 2016, Garcia also called for an investigation into the entry of drugs and weapons, among other anomalies, at the CPDRC. – Rappler.com