PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday ordered the jail wardens to have the inmates involved in the illegal drug trade “shot” or “framed” as he expressed disgust over the reported resurgence of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
In a speech during the 26th anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Camp Aguinaldo, Duterte vowed no mercy for the Bilibid inmates who were again reported conducting their illegal business through cellphones.
“Shoot the son of a bitch. If you can’t … I will myself. Son of a bitch, kill them,” Duterte said.
“Now, if they don’t want to fight back, then frame them.”
Duterte also told the wardens not to fear placing criminals in solitary confinement as that was the only way to stop the illegal drug trade from reaching the penitentiaries.
“The only thing we can do is to cut those people off from the rest of the world,” Duterte said.
He said the illegal drug trade might have return after cellular phones made their way back inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“The illegal drug trade resurged. Allegedly about 400 kilos [were collected inside Bilibid.] That’s the reason for that shootout. Somebody died there [in Muntinlupa] because of this,” Duterte said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre earlier admitted that the drug menace had returned within the very halls of the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the illegal drug trade in the country.
Malacañang earlier said that the Philippine Marine Corps would soon replace the Special Action Force troopers in guarding the New Bilibid Prison.
Despite the deployment of police commandos, authorities have yet to fully eradicate the illegal drug trade.
Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa has already spoken with President Rodrigo Duterte about the complete pullout of the SAF troopers.
More than 300 SAF troopers were deployed to the NBP last year, but they were supposed to stay only for up to six months before being replaced by the Marines.
Upon the assumption of the Duterte administration in July last year, police commandos took over security operations inside the NBP following reports that high-profile inmates continued to run 75 percent of the country’s drug transactions.
High-powered signal jammers were likewise installed to disrupt communication signals inside Building 14 so that the drug lords would not be able to use their cellphones and the Internet to conduct their business.
The government charged on Feb. 23 several inmates and government officials―including former Justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima―for their alleged links to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima is accused of conspiring with high-profile inmates to trade in illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary during her term as Justice secretary in exchange for millions of pesos supposedly for her senatorial campaign last year.
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