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BuCor overhaul sought

October 27, 2022 Camille P. Balagtas 370 views

SENATOR Raffy Tulfo called for a top-to-bottom investigation of the personnel of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and their offices to find out how contraband items, which are among the root causes of many crimes involving inmates, are persistently being smuggled into the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Tulfo made the statement upon learning from the sister of NBP inmate Jun Villamor, the dead middleman in the slaying of broadcaster Percy Lapid, that her brother had access to a mobile device while in prison.

By preventing the entry of contraband items, especially cell phones which are used to communicate with the outside world, he said, killings and other crimes could be prevented.

“Maliban sa pagsasagawa ng regular search sa mga kubol ng inmates, dapat ay gumagawa din ng regular search sa mga opisina ng kawani ng BuCor dahil hindi naman maipapasok ang mga kontrabando sa loob ng Bilibid, katulad ng cellphones at droga, kung walang sabwatan ang mga kawani at inmates nito,” he said.

“Dapat ding magsagawa ng lifestyle check sa mga kawani ng ahensya para matigil ang malawakang korapsyon sa loob ng bilangguan. Ang iba kasi diyan, motor ang minamaneho pero all of a sudden, makikita mo na magandang kotse na ang gamit; o di kaya ay dati nangungupahan lang ngunit di magtatagal ay nakatira na sa isang magandang condo unit,” he added.

It may be recalled that during his previous interview with Villamor’s sister, alias “Ate,” on his program “Wanted sa Radyo,” she confirmed that her brother’s mobile device was bought for P10,000 from a person inside the prison.

As early as 2019, then Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino divulged that some unscrupulous BuCor officials and personnel allow inmates to possess cell phones at a high cost.

DOJ spokesperson Atty. Mico Clavano confirmed on Tulfo’s program that the smuggling of contrabands like cellphones inside NBP continues to run rampant until now, that is why he agreed to Tulfo’s recommendation for an investigation.

The senator added that the current practice of “Sim Card for Rent” inside NBP should be investigated and stopped.

Tulfo proposed that strict and thorough bodily search of all BuCor employees, from high-ranking officials to low ranking officials entering NBP, must be implemented and conducted by outside security personnel, which must be routinely replaced.