Bilibid VIPs can have visitors again at NBI; new raps set | Inquirer News

Bilibid VIPs can have visitors again at NBI; new raps set

/ 12:18 AM January 24, 2015

The VIPs or “very important prisoners” from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) may again receive visitors starting next week at the National Bureau of Investigation jail compound after more than a month of being incommunicado, according to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez.

“We have been given the go-signal by the Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to lift the ban on visitors for the high-profile inmates,” Mendez told the Inquirer on Friday.

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New charges would soon be filed against some of them, mainly the drug convicts, as evidence gathered by the NBI showed that they continued to be involved in the drug trade while serving time in Bilibid, he said.

“Provincial (police) operations against illegal drugs validated information that some of them continued to be involved in the illegal drug trade,” the official added.

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But the convicts’ visitors would still be limited to their lawyers and immediate family members, all subject to the guidelines to be released by the bureau next week.

“There will be a thorough inspection and screening process, and the no-contact policy will still be implemented. They can just talk through a screen,” the NBI director said. “We have installed a separate entrance for their visitors to prevent any unauthorized communication.”

The 19 NBP inmates were moved Dec. 15 from the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City to the NBI heaquarters in Manila after a De Lima-led raid exposed their luxurious living conditions at their “kubol” or detention spaces. Five NBP officials were later relieved of their posts.

They remain in quarters separate from that of the other NBI detainees, Mendez said.

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TAGS: Bilibid, Leila de Lima, National Bureau of Investigation, Virgilio Mendez
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