MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima maintained on Monday that the “visitation ban” at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) will continue until such time that the recent bombing incident inside the national penitentiary that killed one inmate and injured 19 others is resolved.
This was the reaction of De Lima on the “camping out” outside the NBP of the relatives of the inmates who are against the implementation of the “visitation ban.”
In an ambush interview, De Lima said she is discussing with the officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) about the sentiments of the relatives of the inmates.
De Lima said she understands the “camping out” by the inmates’ relatives outside the NBP since it is also their right to do it in a peaceful manner.
She added that they should also understand that the ban on “visitation rights” is geared toward properly resolving the incident at the NBP.
De Lima said she talked with the gang leaders inside the NBP and told them that the ban on “visitation rights” will only be lifted if they will pinpoint those who were behind the bombing incident.
However, De Lima said that until now, they are not cooperating with government authorities.
“Alam ko na alam nila kung sino ang may kagagawan ng pagsabog, ang nakakapagtaka lamang ay ayaw nilang isurender kaya habang walang kooperasyon sa kanilang panig ay iiral pa muna ang ban sa visitation rights (I know that they know who is responsible for the explosion. I’m just wondering why they don’t want to surrender. So as long as there is no cooperation from their end, the ban on visitation rights will be implemented),” De Lima said.
Likewise, De Lima admitted that she lifted the “visitation ban” for one day, specifically during the “Sto. Nino Feast” last Jan. 18.
De Lima also admitted that as of Monday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had already identified those possibly responsible for the grenade explosion at the NBP based on the initial investigation made by the agency.
She earlier condemned the recent incident at the NBP in the face of successive raids conducted by the DOJ inside the national penitentiary.
Initial investigation showed that the “gang war” was the possible cause of the grenade explosion inside the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound (MSC) where the members of the “Commando Gang” were incarcerated and the leader of the gang, “JB Sebastian” was said to be the “target.”