Aklan provincial jail has toughened checks on jail visitors. Not only must they leave all their belongings at reception and be searched, all females must remove their underwear.
In a recent article by the Boracay Informer, a leading gender rights advocate described the humiliating process, adding that male visitors were only subjected to a light frisking.
The article said: “According to Aklan’s jail warden, Senior Jail Inspector Jairus Anthony Dogelio, body searches, including the removal of underwear, is a national policy as part of measures to deter smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons and other contraband by visitors.”
The story also said that the strip search was not imposed on every visitor, and was down to the discretion of the guards on duty.
There have been numerous reports recently of drugs being smuggled into prisons wrapped in sanitary pads, or stashed in even more intimate places.
Despite this, the women’s party-list group ‘Gabriela‘ has demanded a stop to strip searches on jail visitors, particularly women. The group maintains that strip searches are merely the first step on the road to rape.
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