Bilibid escape ‘using rake, rope’ prompts more CCTVs; guards lose day-off
Days after a murder convict escaped from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City over the weekend, the NBP said it had installed 36 additional closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras inside the maximum security compound (MSC), especially near the walls.
NBP Director Richard Schwarzkopf told the Inquirer on Thursday that about a hundred more cameras will be set up in the entire compound, which currently holds about 15,000 inmates out of the total prison population of 23,000.
“These are the strategic areas where we placed the video-recording cameras to better monitor the inmates,” the official said, noting that the compound has existing CCTV cameras but were located far from the walls.
Last weekend, convicted murderer Reynaldo Avergonzado escaped from Dorm 12-B of the compound, where was believed to have used a rake and a piece of rope to scale the walls.
The supposed tools of his escape were found by NBP guards Sunday afternoon, but Schwarzkopf said they had yet to determine the exact day and time when Avergonzado bolted out of the national penitentiary.
Avergonzado was only the first to sneak out of Bilibid in 2015, he added.
Prison guards and officers on duty on Saturday and Sunday, including those manning the towers, were given 10 days to explain, he added.
Avergonzado’s whereabouts remain unknown and “we have already coordinated with other police stations and agencies to intensify our search for him,” he added.
The fugitive is a native of Bohol province who was brought to the NBP in 2009. He had reportedly escaped earlier from the Bohol provincial jail but was recaptured.
Aside from installation of additional CCTV cameras, Schwarzkopf said he also cancelled the security personnel’s daysoff and denied their application to go on leave. “We also augmented the security team with people from other units.”
Earlier this month, the NBP started taking photos of the inmates’ visitors and had their names and addresses entered into a database as an additional measure against the smuggling of contraband.
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