Over 10,000 inmates remove gang tattoos as BuCor hopes to reduce prison violence

Published November 13, 2020, 8:50 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Over 10,000 inmates in prisons managed by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) had their gang tattoos removed in the hopes of reducing violence.

Bureau of Corrections (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The BuCor said in a statement released Thursday night (Nov. 12) that there have been a total of 10,274 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who participated in its “Oplan Bura Tatak” that was initiated by BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag.

“Oplan Bura Tatak was launched at Bureau of Corrections last 28 October 2020,” the BuCor said.

“Initiated by Usec. Gerald Q. Bantag, this program aims to discourage PDL’s membership in gangs and lessen the culture of revenge and violence because of gang extremism or blind loyalty to their group,” it explained.

The inmates who participated in Oplan Bura Tatak include 6,806 from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), 60 from the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW), 2,484 from the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF), 2,050 from the Leyte Regional Prison (LRP), 156 from the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm (SPPF), and 408 from the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm (SRPPF).

“DPPF (Davao Prison and Penal Farm) has been gang free for some time and doesn’t need to erase gang tattoos,” the BuCor said.

“However, sustained monitoring is needed to stop the emergence of groups in the camps,” it assured.

Oplan Bura Tatak was launched following the Oct. 9 riot at Quadrant 4 of the NBP’s Maximum Security Compound which resulted in the deaths of nine inmates and seven others getting hurt.

Another riot erupted at the NBP just last Monday (Nov. 9) which resulted in four inmates getting killed and 62 others who got wounded.