BuCor says road closure in Bilibid due to incidents, illegal activities

Published November 27, 2021, 9:24 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said its decision to build a wall on a road leading to a Department of Justice (DOJ) housing project inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Bgy. Poblacion, Muntinlupa Friday night was due to incidents and illegal activities.

“The BuCor leadership in the exercise of its mandate of ensuring the safety and security of prison facility has decided to restrict the access of Katarungan Village residents to the NBP Security Facility,” BuCor said in a statement.

The new wall on a road erected by BuCor inside the New Bilibid Prison in Bgy. Poblacion, Muntinlupa on Nov. 27 (Photo courtesy of Shielo Veloso)

It said the “measure is made in response to several incidents and reports on illegal activities perpetuated inside the NBP Camp.”

BuCor said Katarungan Village residents have other alternate routes to go in and out of their subdivision.

“The Katarungan Village residents have more than enough access points They have access going to Daang Hari road. They have also access to Muntinlupa City Hall through the Green Heights Subdivision which they had temporarily closed by themselves in the past but can be opened for purposes of accessibility,” it said.

It added, “BuCor stands firm on its position on the intensified and continued efforts in performing its mandates. BuCor will implement the same kind of service and treatment with the Katarungan Village residents in accordance with law and to its lawful mandate.”

On Friday night, BuCor closed road that served as main access point to the city proper of residents of the DOJ’s Katarungan Village 1 and 2 housing projects, and students and teachers of Muntinlupa National High School-Main (MNHS) and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMUN), which are adjacent to the village.

Residents tore down the wall but a new wall was built on Saturday.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, in a statement, said BuCor did not get a permit and did not coordinate with the city government before building the wall.

“Napakaraming residente ang mawawalan ng daan papunta sa bayan dahil sa ginawa nilang harang. Mawawalan din ng access pati mga guro at mag-aaral ng Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa at Muntinlupa National High School,” the mayor said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon in a text message, “Cong. Ruffy, I have been informed about it. The DOJ has not received any prior notice about this action on the part of the BuCor.”

Last March, BuCor, citing security reasons, built a wall on the 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.

Biazon sent a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte but Malacañang referred the letter to the DOJ, which told Biazon that under Republic Act 10575, or the BuCor Modernization Law, BuCor has the “absolute authority” in the supervision of lands it owns.

He filed a resolution with the House of Representatives, which held a committee hearings about the issue.

In building a wall on the Insular Prison Road, BuCor Director General Gerald 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).”

The Muntinlupa City Council passed six resolutions on Saturday pertaining to the road closures in NBP.