BuCor relieves prison guards at military facility
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has relieved the entire complement of prison guards stationed in the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) detention facility where eight high-profile inmates are staying following reports that they continue having a posh lifestyle as a reward for testifying against Senator Leila De Lima.
Transferred back to New Bilibid Prison (NBP) are 20 prison guards headed by Prison Guard 3 Marlon Mangubat and facing investigation to determine their possible liability.
BuCor Chief Benjamin De Los Santos added that clearing operations were conducted by a joint team of BuCor and members of the Special Action Force (SAF).
He said the team had dismantled air-conditioning units. The team searched all the rooms and no cellular phones were found in the rooms and inmates.
De Los Santos said there is only one phone installed in the reception area for emergency purposes under watch by BuCor-SAF. All calls are logged individually showing inmates’ name, time, date and party contacted.
He added that there is only one television set installed in the reception area for scheduled viewing.
The implementing rules and regulations of the memorandum of agreement between the BuCor, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense will also be revised, according to De Los Santos.
Reports earlier mentioned an existing memorandum that spelled out Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s order granting privileges to high-profile inmates who testified against De Lima.
Aguirre has denied making such an order.
“I have never issued an order either verbal or written that granted special privileges to these inmates,” Aguirre said insisting that the inmates testified against De Lima without a quid pro quo.
The document mentioned a meeting between the military and the BuCor officials on the discovery of mobile phones and television sets of the inmates, including convicted robber Herbert Colanggo. The same document narrated that the military asked who allowed such privileges and one prison guard was quoted as saying they were following orders from the higher-ups, specifically mentioning Aguirre.
Aguirre said he had not seen such document and branded its contents as hearsay. RAM/rga
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