The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Tuesday submitted a special report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the issues hounding the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).
According to Saleema Refran’s report on “24 Oras,” BuCor Director-General Gregorio Catapang Jr. said the recent violence between gang members, and the decapitated body found in a septic tank inside the penitentiary were connected and were caused by money and power struggles among inmates.
“Milyon ang pinag-aagawan. Isipin mo 30,000 sila. P2,000 pwede sila padalhan ng mga kamag-anak, daily. O sabihin mo na lang, P500. Sa 30 days, malaking pera na rin yan. Milyon na rin,” he said.
(We’re talking about millions. Think about it, there are 30,000 detainees in the NBP, and they are allowed to receive P2,000. If their relatives provide them with just P500 daily, that would still be around millions in 30 days.)
But aside from money, Catapang said there were also influential detainees in the prison.
“May mga leaders dyan na, nakikita na hindi maganda ang pagpapalakad nito… Itong matataas na nasa gilid, na influence maker. ‘O, babasbasan kita. Ikaw ang uupo doon. Ikaw naman, basbasan kita. Ikaw uupo dito,’” he added.
The BuCor chief did not give further details, but he said all the information on the issues inside the NBP were detailed in their special report.
“Ginagawa namin lahat nang paraan. ‘Yung mga manggugulo, nilalayo na namin. Nililipat namin sa ibang lugar,” he added.
(We’re doing everything to resolve this. We transferred those who were stirring trouble.)
Over the weekend, the BuCor transferred several inmates from the NBP to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro. Catapang declined to confirm if included in the batch were the detainees he mentioned.
Meanwhile, four of the ten inmates who were moved to Sablayan testified against former Senator Leila de Lima. Some of their relatives trooped to the DOJ on Monday to ask about their condition after they were transferred to Occidental Mindoro without informing their families.
“Hindi po namin alam kung buhay po sila or patay na po. Wala po silang maibigay na kahit na papel para ipakita sa amin kung bakit inilipat, sabi confidential daw po,” one of the inmates’ relatives said.
(We don’t know if they’re alive or not. The DOJ did not give us any paper to show us why they should be transferred. They were saying the reason was confidential.)
DOJ Spokesperson Mico Clavano said he assured the families of the inmates’ safety.
“I assured them na hindi naman po mandato ng BuCor at ng DOJ na saktan yung mga… that’s way, way beyond kung ano talaga ginagawa namin,” he said.
(I assured them that hurting the detainees is not part of the BuCor and the DOJ’s mandate.) — Sundy Locus/DVM, GMA Integrated News