The majority floor leader of the Muntinlupa City Council said the security issues raised by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in its decision to build a wall and close a road leading to a government housing project inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Reservation in the city should be discussed.
Councilor Raul Corro, who once served as head of the city government’s Office of the City Attorney, said BuCor should sit down with the city government and affected residents to effectively address the security issues.
Last Nov. 26, BuCor built a wall on a road leading to the Katarungan Village, a Department of Justice housing project; Muntinlupa National High School, a public school; and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, a city-run university.
“Closing the road will not solve the problem,” said Corro about BuCor’s reasons in closing the road.
In a statement it earlier released, BuCor said, “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.”
It said the “measure is made in response to several incidents and reports on illegal activities perpetuated inside the NBP Camp.”
On Dec. 1, it was reported that according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, BuCor agreed to remove the wall on the road but it will be replaced with a gate.
“With the order of the DOJ Secretary to remove the roadblock, it becomes more imperative for the Bucor Director and his people to sit down with the affected residents and the local government and discuss ways and means to address the ‘security issue’ raised by BuCor and how they can help make the NBP reservation a more secure and safe place for everyone,” said Corro.
He added, “The security and safety of Bucor is not its concern alone. It is also the concern of the residents and the local government. If any untoward incident happens in the NBP Reservation, it will also affect the residents and the city itself.”
“Hence the best way to resolve this problem created by Bucor is through an open dialogue and prior consultation. Security is everybody’s concern. We can be effective partners in maintaining peace and security in and around the NBP reservation,” he said.
Corro said, “Putting up a roadblock on the road-right-of way of Katarungan Village 1 and 2 is a clear mistake. When the subdivision plans of the villages were approved, the road-right-of-way is the NBP Road and BuCor knows about it.”
“The NBP road has been used as a road-right-of-way since 1992 when a presidential proclamation was issued segregating 100 hectares of the NBP property for the DOJ housing project. That it was closed suddenly without consulting the thousands of affected residents and the local government of Muntinlupa is a clear case of abuse of authority on the part of the present Bucor officials,” he added.
According to him, “For several decades now, the road-right-of way of the Muntinlupa National High School-Main and the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa is the NBP Road. Bucor Directors since the 1950s up to the present respected the free passage of students and teachers in this road. Never did any one of them even attempt to close it.”