BuCor to erase tattoos of gang members in prison

Published October 28, 2020, 6:20 PM

by Dhel Nazario

The Bureau of Corrections launched on Wednesday “Oplan Bura Tatak” in an effort to promote peace and order among the inmates by effacing their tattoo marks. 

BuCor Chief Director General Gerald Bantag said that the objective of the event was to eliminate dispute between the members of the different groups in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“Ang pangkat na yan, parang isang pamilya yan na nagpoproteksyon sa mga members. So kung may nasaktan diyan siyempre magagalit ang pangkat na yun, sino may gawa nun, aalamin nila kung member ng kalaban na pangkat… edi gaganti rin (These groups are like families that protect their members. So if one of them gets hurt the group will find out who did it and retaliate),” Bantag said.

He added that it will be a never-ending cycle of retaliations if this initiative was not done. 

A few weeks ago,  a riot occurred which was sparked by a fight between the Sigue Sigue Sputnik (SSS) and Sigue Sigue Commando (SSC) gangs claimed nine lives among the protagonists.

“Kung hindi mo gagawin ito, wala. Gaganti na naman sila…Walang katapusang gantihan. Kaya ito yung pinaka-number one objective natin dito, yung peace and order talaga (If we will not do this, what happened before will just repeat…a never-ending cycle of revenge. So our number one objective here is peace and order really,” Bantag explained. 

Bantag said that 12 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) participated in the Oplan Bura Tatak which are mainly presidents, leaders or the so-called commanders of the different groups.

He added that its members will have no choice but to follow as well.

To make sure that the PDLs will no longer put new tattoos, Bantag said that they have a policy that those with tattoos or placed new ones, will have their Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) affected. 

“Saka, 39,000 ito, tignan natin kung ilan ang members ng pangkat diyan, e di yun ang babrasuhin natin. Pag nabura lahat yan, tignan natin kung paano natin i-execute yung iba nating plano (And this is 39,000 we cannot check everyone for tattoos, we will just find out how many members each group has and we will focus on them. Once all are removed, we will think on how to execute our next plan,” Bantag explained.

He said that when it comes to security, BuCor has personnel who specialize in making sure that there is peace and order and that no riots will escalate.

They handle the maximum security compound, the minimum security area, all the way to the Davao, Zamboanga, Leyte groups, etc.

Dr. Henry Fabro of the NBP Hospital said that PDLs were given anti-tetanus prior to the procedure and if there will be any infection they will be provided with antibiotics.

There are also PDLs inside the facilities who monitor the conditions of other PDLs so if ever there will be any reaction for those who underwent the procedure, they can easily provide medical attention.