Senator Francis Tolentino urged authorities to hasten plans to relocate the country’s national penitentiary amid a series of controversies hounding the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
According to Tolentino, relocating and decongesting the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City — especially those high-profile inmates inside the maximum-security compound — could help eradicate organized syndicates operating behind the walls of the national penitentiary.
“Kung mas ilalayo sila, mainam din na sama-sama rin sila para wala silang contact —wala silang middleman na mauutusan para mag distribute at walang logistical connection.”
“Kung mas ilalayo sila, mainam din na sama-sama rin sila para wala silang contact —wala silang middleman na mauutusan para mag distribute at walang logistical connection,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights said during his weekly radio program on DZRH.
“(Kung sakaling malipat at ma-rellocate) ang talagang mabuwag diyan eh yung kultura (ng sindikato) eh — ‘yung kultura sa loob ng Bilibid na padri-padrino pa rin yung andoon,” the legislator added.
The lawmaker made the remarks amid a series of controversies hounding BuCor, particularly the alleged involvement of its top officials and other gang leaders inside NBP on the recent assassination of veteran journalist Percival ‘Percy Lapid’ Mabasa and the suspected murder of one of its self-confessed middlemen inside the maximum-security compound.
Among those potential relocation sites proposed for NBP according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla include a 10-hectare government property in Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental and a segment of Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.
Should the relocation of NBP push through, inmates from the maximum-security compound will be transferred to the Mindoro site while those in the minimum and medium-security compounds will have their respective quarter assignments in the allotted area inside Fort Magsaysay.
The senator stressed that organized syndicates will continue to hound the walls of NBP should the operation of the national penitentiary remain inside Metro Manila.
“Kapag andito ka po sa Metro Manila, andyan ka lang sa Muntinlupa eh… may koneksyon sila sa outside world.”
“Kapag andito ka po sa Metro Manila, andyan ka lang sa Muntinlupa eh… may koneksyon sila sa outside world. Kung ilalayo sila sa isang bulubunduking lugar na walang koneksyon, ay palagay ko eh baka matuto pa ng magaling na pamamaraan ng agrikultura iyang mga ‘yan kaysa sa may koneksyon sila dito,” he concluded.