Complete purge at Bilibid not in the offing—DOJ exec
A top to bottom raid in the country’s national penitentiary is not in the offing, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official said.
Justice Undersecretary Emmanuel Caparas said the government needs huge resources to be able to conduct such an operation to rid the entire New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) of contraband.
“’Yung resources na kailangan mo doon [to raid the entire NBP] ay malaki (The resources you need for that is huge),” Caparas told reporters.
Currently, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) headed by Director Ricardo Rainier Cruz III has conducted 12 raids under “Oplan Galugad” and confiscated assorted items from gadgets, kitchen appliances to firearms and drug paraphernalia.
The raid is being conducted per quadrant. Each quadrant covers several dormitories of inmates. Some critics believed that the inmates would just hide their contraband from one quadrant to another, thus continuing illegal activities inside prison.
But Caparas said while the raid is being conducted per quadrant “the key factor is when items have been discovered and confiscated, it will not be recycled and again, knowing the methods of DG Cruz, [the confiscated contraband] will no longer be recycled.”
“He (Cruz) is very single-minded in cleaning up, ‘yan ang nakakahanga sa kanya (that’s what’s laudable about him). He will do these (raids) as often as necessary for as long as may nakikita pa sila (they still see something),” he added.
On Wednesday, BuCor personnel confiscated a 45 caliber pistol with one magazine, 7 live ammo for caliber 45 pistol and 3 live ammo for 9mm pistol, 27 bladed weapon, a hammer, a baton stick and a pair of scissors, 13 pieces of assorted drug paraphernalia, two pieces aluminum foil strip, four containers of fermented yeast and 200 grams of yeast, a laptop, a gaming console, three pieces of game controller, three pieces of auto voltage regulator, one photocopier, two central processing units, two pocket Wi-Fi, 21 DVD players, 63 assorted chargers, eight pieces of headsets, a dual-band transceiver, an air-conditioning unit, 13 exhaust fans, two ceiling fans, six stand fans, three wall fans, three convection stoves, five rice cookers, 15 LPG tank, five electric kettles, oven toaster and flat iron, shower heater, two pieces blender, a turbo boiler and a microwave, five bicycles, assorted pornographic DVDs, gambling cards, two power drills, a unit each of grinder, wood router, plainer, submersible pump, battery charger, Freon tank and gauge, diamond peel machine, electric massager and telephone, two containers of gasoline and four liters of diesel engine oil at the NBP’s maximum security compound in the second such operation this year and the 12th since “Oplan Galugad” was launched last November.
Authorities also confiscated P119,000 in cash.
Meanwhile, NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. said said additional security measures would also be put in place such as the installation of additional X-rays, metal detectors and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to deter illegal activities inside the sprawling national penitentiary which houses more than 22,000 inmates, of whom 15,000 are in the maximum security compound.’
“Nakapag-procure na tayo ng mga x-rays at metal detectors at mayroon na rin tayong mga CCTVs at mayroon tayong kinabit na karagdagang 30 na mga CCTVs. We will see na madagdagan pa iyan kasi talagang malawak itong lugar,”he said.
(We have already procured x-ray machines and metal detectors and we have also added 30 units of CCTV cameras. We expect the units to increase because this is a sprawling property.)
But the official admitted that one of their problems that is aggravating the situation inside the penitentiary is overcrowding, citing as an example the maximum security compound which is meant to house 6,000 inmates only.
“Mga 6,000 lang ang capacity ng maximum security compound pero right now mahigit sa 15, 000 na mga inmates na ang andito (The maximum security compound has a capacity of only 6,000 inmates, but right now, 15,000 are housed inside it),” he added.
The national penitentiary was opened in 1940 and originally meant to house 8, 400 inmates.
At present, the NBP has a total inmate population of 22,800 while prison guards numbered only 500.
The NBP has a total land area of 551 hectares though 100 hectares of it were used for a housing project of the Department of Justice. IDL
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