Ecija gov sets conditions for transfer of jail
CABANATUAN CITY—Before he issues a permit for a relocated New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Nueva Ecija, Gov. Aurelio Umali is demanding that the national government design separate detention facilities for convicted drug lords and terrorists.
“The convicted drug lords and the terrorists are very intelligent. They have money and they have vast connections. They are difficult to manage. They should be in separate facilities,” Umali told reporters here.
He said he had made this condition known to the Central Luzon Regional Development Council. A council endorsement is needed before the NBP is transferred to a 500-hectare area in Barangay Nazareth in General Tinio town.
The site is within the reservation of Fort Magsaysay, an Army camp. The NBP facilities in Muntinlupa City have become congested. Officials said the Muntinlupa site would be converted into a commercial district.
“It is of utmost social concern. Look at what happened at the NBP in Muntinlupa … they found drugs, guns, cash, luxury items,” Umali said.
“It proved that drug lords, in particular, have vast connections even if they are already in prison,” he said.
The facilities dedicated to drug lords should be located far from those of common criminals, Umali said, adding that there is sufficient space in the relocation site to fulfill this condition.
The NBP relocation has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority.
During a recent public hearing in Palayan City on the planned transfer, officials of the Department of Justice and Bureau of Corrections told residents that the new penitentiary would cost P50 billion under a public-private partnership undertaking. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon
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