Muntinlupa gov’t, residents slam BuCor’s 3rd blockade | Inquirer News
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Muntinlupa gov’t, residents slam BuCor’s 3rd blockade

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:06 AM November 28, 2021

BLOCKED After the wall it built was torn down, the Bureau of Corrections sends a backhoe to excavate the bridge connecting Katarungan Village to Barangay Poblacion and Muntinlupa City proper on Saturday. —PHOTO COURTESY OF MUNTINLUPA PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections’ (BuCor) latest attempt to restrict access inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) reservation in Muntinlupa City was thwarted anew when angry residents tore down the third wall that the BuCor erected near Friday midnight.

But the BuCor on Saturday decided to put a blockade by bulldozing the concrete bridge that connects residents of Katarungan Village 1 and 2—a housing project of the Department of Justice (DOJ)—to Barangay Poblacion proper and the city proper.

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The move would also obstruct students and teachers of the Muntinlupa National High School and the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa should limited in-person classes resume by December.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi slammed the BuCor for its blatant disregard of the city government.

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He said the BuCor’s actions were illegal since it did not have a permit and did not coordinate with both the City Hall and Barangay Poblacion.

“They built the wall like a thief in the night. What is the BuCor’s reason for clandestinely setting up another blockade?” Fresnedi noted.

Late on Friday, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, city administrator Allan Cachuela, along with other city department heads, and Poblacion chair Allen Ampaya rushed to the site to stop BuCor personnel from completing the wall.

“The BuCor did not budge to the repeated explanations of city officials,” Fresnedi said. “But after several hours, the residents themselves made the move to remove the blockade.”

DOJ intervenes

In a message to Biazon on Saturday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he also did not receive any prior notice about the BuCor’s action.

“I have strongly recommended to [BuCor chief Director General Gerald Bantag] to stop any further action on the wall or bridge until we have sat down to discuss it,” he added.

Guevarra said he also reported the incident to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. In a statement on Saturday night, the BuCor said it would stand firm with its decision to restrict the access of Katarungan Village residents to the NBP “out of ensuring the safety and security of the prison facility.”

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It added that the measure was made in response to several incidents and reports of illegal activities perpetrated inside the NBP compound.

For BuCor, Katarungan residents had “more than enough access points.”

In an emergency session on Saturday, the Muntinlupa city council passed six resolutions condemning the actions of the BuCor and its officials for the sudden and illegal closures of several roads inside the NBP Reservation.

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TAGS: BuCor wall in Muntinlupa, Muntinlupa government, Muntinlupa residents
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