By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) vowed on Monday full support to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) if the agency wants to expand its purge of corrupt prison guards and employees to other penal colonies in various parts of the country.
Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the Chief Directorial Staff of the PNP, said that he could serve as the voice of the BuCor in the PNP in instituting reforms in all penal colonies under the agency, aside from the New Bilibid Prisons.
“With the current leadership (of the PNP), they could approach us and tell us what kind of assistance they need not only at the NBP but also in other penal colonies,” said Eleazar.
Aside from the NBP, other penal colonies under the BuCor are the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City; Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, San Ramon Prison and Penal farm in Zamboanga City, Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog town and the Davao Prison and Penal Farm.
Eleazar believes that if convicted drug lords and other crime leaders could still run their syndicates inside the NBP, there was also the strong possibility that some convicts were doing the same in other penal colonies.
“We share the vision of the Director General Bantag to reform the Bureau of Corrections because at the end of the day, it is the Filipino people who would benefit if we were able to deny these convicted drug lords and criminal gang leaders the opportunity to run their groups while in detention,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar is one of the awardees as BuCor Director General recognized the assistance of various people which helped his efforts to reform the NBP at a time when it was rocked with a scandal concerning the anomalous granting of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) to convicted felons at the NBP.
The controversy led to the sacking of former BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon and a Senate investigation that exposed the deeply-rooted corruption at the NBP, including the alleged pocketing of the funds intended to feed the inmates.
As director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Eleazar sought approval from Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano for the deployment of 551 policemen based on the request for manpower of Bantag.
It was recalled that Bantag immediately started the purge at the NBP by subjecting all prison guards to a strict vetting process to determine if they could still be trusted to be employed at the NBP. In the meantime, it was NCRPO personnel who took over the job as prison guards.
Eleazar also initiated the alliance of NCRPO, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Bureau of Investigation and the military’s Joint Task Force National Capital Region through the Quad-Intel Force to probe on convicted drug lords who continuously run their syndicates. Ther Quad-Intel Force has set up a liaison office at the NBP.
“We believe that the PNP can really help them especially in solving illegal drugs problems wherein one of the main supply systems is through the convicted drug lords,” said Eleazar.