BuCor builds wall, closes road leading to DOJ housing project in Muntinlupa

Published November 26, 2021, 11:57 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has built a wall to close a road leading to a housing project of the Department of Justice (DOJ), a public high school and university inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Reservation in Bgy. Poblacion, Muntinlupa Friday night.

Residents of Katarungan Village, a DOJ housing project, were surprised when prisoners, under the supervision of BuCor personnel, started building a wall on the road.

The wall built by BuCor on a road leading to the DOJ's Katarungan Village in Poblacion, Muntinlupa (Photo by Leandro Ong)

According to a Facebook post by the Muntinlupa City government, the closure of the road and wall construction will also affect the Muntinlupa National High School-Main and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, which are adjacent to the village.

“BuCor hasn’t coordinated with the local government of Muntinlupa regarding the road closure,” the city government stated.

In March, BuCor built a wall on Insular Prison Road in NBP closing the main access point of the residents of the government’s Southville 3 housing project to the city proper.

In a resolution, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and the City Council condemned BuCor’s action to build a wall along the Insular Prison Road.

Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon filed a resolution to conduct a congressional inquiry on the closure of the road leading to Southville 3. Public hearings were conducted through the House Committee on Justice led by chairman Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso III.

In a letter to Fresnedi last March, BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag explained that BuCor’s mandate “is to safekeep and reform Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL). As of the moment, there are 28,461 PDL who are confined at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).”

Bantag said part of the safekeeping of prisoners “is security which ensures that inmates are completely incapacitated from further committing criminal acts, and have been totally cut off from their criminal networks (or contact in the free society).” 

“Security also includes protection against illegal organized armed groups which have the capacity of launching an attack on any prison camp of the national penitentiary to rescue their convicted comrade or forcibly amass firearms issued to Corrections Officers,” he added.  

He said allowing the use of the road “puts the safety and well-being of the public in danger. It is a wrong public policy to continue a dangerous practice of letting the public pass through the middle of a supposedly high security risk prison compound.”

Bantag said “from September 2019 to February 2021, most of the cases of throwing of contrabands inside the security camp had been traced from elements coming from NHA Southville 3.” 

“Further, closing of the road reduced greatly on the movement of people inside the compound which is definitely helping the anti-covid efforts of the government,” he said. 

Bantag added that BuCor “only temporarily closed the portion of the road which will traverse the side of the Maximum Security Compound but a larger portion of its road is still open and can be freely used by our countrymen.”