President Benigno Aquino III was urged Monday to place the Bureau of Corrections under the temporary management and administration of the military to prevent the situation in the New Bilibid Prisons from deteriorating.
“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,” said Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice in his House Resolution 27.
“This worsening situation is allegedly caused by rampant anomalies ranging from the prisoners’ smuggling of firearms and explosives, prostitution workers, communication gadgets, signal boosters and, scanning and jamming devices, alcoholic drinks, domesticated animals including fighting cocks, and manufacturing of illegal drugs inside the prison premises,” he said.
Erice, member for the majority bloc of the committee on public order and safety, said drug trafficking was a major part of the problem.
“In a report dated July 2, 2014 prepared by PIS Danilo Dador, the officer-in-charge of the Maximum Security Compound, it was stated that seventy-eight percent of the inmates were found positive for using illegal drugs,” he said.
Erice noted that on November 11, 2014, the guards found during a raid 235 grams of drugs packed in small plastic sachets in the common sleeping area of inmates.
In a report dated October 2014 of PSO1 Robert Veneracion, chief of the Operations Center, signal boosters had been installed inside the maximum compound which disrupted NBP’s own signal jammers.
Erice noted Veneracion was relieved of his port instead of being commended for his work.
He said at least three other prison officials have been killed in the prison complex.
Supt. Francisco Abonates from the office of Director Franklin Bucayu, was killed on September 17, 2013 by two gunmen; Dr. Noel Villacorta of the NBP Hospital and PG1 Gerard Donato of the anti-illegal drugs team were killed on January 7, and October 21 last year, respectively, in Barangay Putatan, Muntinlupa City.
“The audacity of these prisoners to repeatedly violate the laws, disregard the policies of the NBP and threat the NBP premises as their own little kingdom stemmed from their connections to corrupt officials and personnel of the NBP themselves, in addition to their capacity to communicate with and pay hired gunmen for those who cannot be bought by their money,” Erice said.