Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice has filed a resolution calling for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to temporarily take over the management of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) so as to curb the spate of lawlessness and correct the “worsening situation” within the state penitentiary.
“This worsening situation is allegedly caused by rampant anomalies ranging from the prisoners’ smuggling of firearms and explosives, prostitution workers, communication gadgets, signal boosters, scanning and jamming devices, alcoholic drinks, domesticated animals including fighting cocks, and manufacturing of illegal drugs inside the prison premises,” Erice said.
Erice referenced a report released on July 2, 2104, which said that up to 78-percent of the inmates tested positive for illegal drug use.
Giving further credence to this report, quantities of illegal drugs were seized from within the NBP’s maximum security area during raid led by police operatives on November 11 last year.
The congressman pointed out that aside from illegal drugs, the inmates “have allegedly been able to bring in scanning and jamming devices to help keep the illegal trade safe and unhindered by delaying, if not keeping, inspectors at bay.”
He also cited that in the last two years, three or more Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) personnel were murdered; with the circumstances of the killings believed to connected with their duties at the NBP.
In Erice’s explanatory note, he pointed out that the illegal activities within the NBP complex are “perpetuated by cunning prisoners with the support or tolerance” of corrupt prison officials.”
“While there still exist honest members from the ranks of the bureau who faithfully perform their official mandate, threats not only to their lives, but also to their careers, cannot just be disregarded,” Erice said.
In order to correct the deplorable situation of the NBP, Erice urged President Aquino to hand over the management of the facility to the AFP, even if only on a temporary basis.
“The 1987 Constitution designated the President as the Commander in Chief of all Armed Forces of the country and whenever it becomes necessary, to call out such Armed Forces to prevent lawless violence, invasion or rebellion,” Erice said emphasizing that the dire situation at the NBP now calls for military intervention.