Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has ordered the relief of Supt. Resurrecion Puno, head of the Sablayan prison and penal farm in Occidental Mindoro, after convicted drug lord Ruben Tiu was caught in the act of selling over a kilo of shabu outside the prison facility last Friday.
Tiu was escorted by jail guard Ahrbe Duron.
De Lima said Puno would also be subjected to administrative investigation over the incident.
The Justice Secretary said she was particularly puzzled at how Tiu was able to run his illegal drug business while inside the prison and why he was allowed to go out of the facility.
De Lima said she believes that Duron would have not aided Tiu without possible knowledge of higher-ups.
The Sablayan prison farm is under the Bureau of Corrections, which is under the administrative supervision of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Tiu was already charged before the DOJ last Monday for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs) of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) while Duron with violation of Section 26 in relation to Section 5 (Conspiracy to Sell Dangerous Drugs) of RA 9165 and Article 223 (Conniving and Consenting to Evasion) of the Revised Penal Code.
Tiu was arrested in a buy-bust operation last Friday on a highway, which was just two kilometers away from the Mindoro penal colony.
The NBI agents were able to confiscate more than 1 kilogram of methamphetamine or shabu with a street value of P1 million.
NBI director Virgilio Mendez disclosed that Tiu attempted to bribe the arresting agents with P15 million for them to immediately bring him back to the penal colony and to keep the incident to themselves.
The NBI officers rejected the offer.
Mendez said that Tiu confessed during tactical interrogation that he received his supply of shabu from the New Bilibid Prisons.