NBP inmates surrender contrabands

MANILA-- Amid reports claiming that illegal drug activities have resurrected inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, a group of inmates have turned over contrabands to officials of Bureau of Corrections, Department of Justice official said on Tuesday.

Citing reports from Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Benjamin Delos Santos, Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said members of the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik gang surrendered the illegal items such as six large plastic sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu; 30 small sachets of shabu; two ice picks; and one cellular phone on Monday.

He said the surrender of the contrabands was a result of dialogue/negotiaions conducted last Saturday.

On Monday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he will order a probe on some members of Special Action Force (SAF) who may have been involved in the resurgence of illegal drug trade inside the NBP in Muntinlupa City.

I have received reports that there were some reactivation, we are doing something about this, we are going to end this resurgence, some sort of resurgence by some inmates. I talked to Director General [Benjamin delos Santos last Saturday, and we know what we are going to do, Aguirre told reporters.

He noted that some members of the police's elite force may have been involved due to their familiarity with the inmates.

Aguirre said on Tuesday that changing of the guards at the NBP is expected by end of July.

He said he already talked to Special Action Force (SAF) Director Benjamin Lusad to change the SAF contingent inside Bilibid following information that there is a resurgence of illegal drug trade.

"We have already made a request to SAF less than a month ago. This (changing of SAF contingent) will take place in the fourth week of this month," Aguirre said.

More than 300 SAF contingents who have been deployed at Bilibid last year were supposed to stay only for three to six months and then they will be replaced by the Marines.

He added that the resurgence constitutes only about 5 to 10 percent as compared to the extent of the previous illegal drug operations.

The Secretary said he learned the resurgence of the narcotics trade mostly involve new players other than the high-profile inmates who have claimed giving millions to detained Senator Leila de Lima.

We have successfully curbed 75 percent of the illegal drug trade. If ever, the resurgence is about five to 10 percent only and we are going to clip it again, Aguirre said.

Aguirre charges would be filed against any SAF personnel who would be found involved in illegal drug activities inside the NBP.

Aguirre said that he considered the neutralization of drug syndicates inside the NBP as one of his biggest accomplishments during his one year term in office, a resurgence of such groups inside the facility should be dealt with immediately.

Aguirre noted that 70 to 75 percent of illegal drugs in the country were being trafficked from inside the NBP prior to the assumption of the Duterte administration.

Source: Philippines News Agency