Jan 062015

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has sought a probe on the alleged special treatment of high-profile inmates and their illegal activities inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

In Senate Resolution 1088 filed on January 5, 2015, the senator said he wanted to review the current correctional system that tolerated special treatment to inmates “with the end view of enacting remedial legislation that would prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.”

“It is apparent that NBP personnel committed violations against their mandate when they allowed the entry of prohibited items and the construction of high-end ‘kubols’ inside the NBP as these did not just appear in an instant,” Trillanes said in a press statement Tuesday.

He said the first step to reform the correctional system is to identify and hold accountable the NBP personnel and other involved government officials who are responsible for the proliferation of contraband items.

On 15, 19, and 22 December 2014, surprise inspections were conducted in the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound, which houses convicted drug lords and notorious robbery gang leaders.

The inspections revealed numerous activities and items inside the prison such as the apparent continuation of drug trade within the premises of NBP. High-end special detention area or ‘kubols’ which have extra-ordinary facilities such as jacuzzi, sauna, bath tub, music studio, generator, split-type air-conditioning units, Wi-Fi, long conference table, game console, private gym, bar and a kitchen were also found.

Authorities also recovered diamond-studded Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier and Officine Panerai watches; a Louis Vuitton cash box; bottles of expensive wine and liquor; a life-size sex doll; wide-screen televisions; cell phones; money-counting machines; laptops; a projector and numerous appliances.

On top of these, wads of cash amounting to more than two million pesos, firearms, which were under the name of different government officials, and an undetermined amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) were also seized in the raid.

Also, days after the inspections, an eight-year old girl was found naked and unconscious after an inmate, who was tested positive for using drugs, allegedly attempted to rape her inside the NBP’s maximum security compound on New Year’s Day.

Trillanes earlier filed Senate Bill No. 793 seeking to improve the existing correctional system in the country through the integration of its prison and jail system. One of its specific aims is to avoid fraternization between jail personnel and prisoners through reshuffling of personnel from one jail to another.

“More of this scandal will come out as we conduct the investigation, and we in the Senate should promptly address this issue by solving the loopholes in our correctional system,” said Trillanes, who was once charged and detained for rising up against the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. —NB, GMA News

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