VIRAL: Cebu prisoners stripped naked during PDEA raid

Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2017 05:17 PM | Updated as of Apr 20 2017 03:39 PM

A photo of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center inmates stripped naked, sitting on the floor of the facility's open court, has gone viral with netizens saying that it was inhumane for Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to leave the inmates unclothed at dawn.

PDEA launched a greyhound operation along with the military and other enforcement agencies, at dawn on February 28. 

They were able to confiscate 80 cellphone units, laptops, bladed weapons, P90,000 cash, and 19 sachets of suspected shabu from the cells of over 3,000 inmates of the CPDRC.

In an interview over Arangkada of DYAB, PDEA Regional Director Yogi Felimon Ruiz said he will take full responsibility for the operation and how it was conducted. He said they launched the dawn raid after Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III told them of text messages he received regarding the presence of illegal drugs and other contraband inside CPDRC.

Ruiz said stripping the inmates naked is just part of their measures to ensure a peaceful operation. He said law enforcers had to make sure that the inmates were not armed to prevent possible riots and no other contraband will be hidden under any clothing.

Ruiz said that only 129 personnel from PDEA and other enforcement agencies were there to conduct the operation. 

He assured that even when the inmates were naked, they were organized when transferred at the open court while the search in their cells and the inventory was ongoing. He also said that he will include the stripping off of inmates in his report, which he will submit to Davide and the PDEA head office.

Ruiz will also include his observation inside CPDRC. Among his observations is allowing prisoners to hold the keys to their cells. He said jail guards of CPDRC had to knock on each cell and ask the inmates to open it up with one of the inmates holding the key.

Meanwhile, CPDRC jail warden Dr. Gil Macato has not issued any statement yet on the operation and the confiscation of contraband inside the facility. 

Macato was not present when the raid was conducted. Davide already ordered him relieved from office and all the jail guards under investigation.

Davide said that since then, he has not received words from Macato. He has also refused to take the calls of the Governor. Macato has been CPDRC's jail warden for only four months.