The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Monday, Dec. 6, denied allegations that it did not coordinate with the local government of Muntinlupa City in the closure of road within the reservation of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Marami po tayong coordinations (We made a lot of coordinations),” said BuCor Deputy Director General Gabriel P. Chaclag during a Laging Handa briefing.
“Mula pa noon ay ipinahiwatig na natin yun sa kanila, sa barangay, sa mga ilang leaders ng Katarungan Village at tsaka yung mga nearby villages na pa-iigtingin natin ang security, we will fortify the security posture of the Bilibid prison (We have previously told the barangay, several leaders of Katarungan Village and even leaders of nearby villages that the Bucor will fortify its security posture for the Bilibid security),” he recounted.
But, Chaclag lamented that these local officials “parang hindi po sila naniwala noon, wala po silang aksyon (they did not seem to believe and did nothing).”
When the residents and these local officials saw that the road had been blocked, “doon na sila naniniwala na very firm pala ang aming stand (only then did they believe of the BuCor’s firm stand),” he said.
Chaclag assured that the road will be open to vehicular traffic as soon as the control gate has been installed.
In the meantime, he said only pedestrians are allowed to pass through the road.
Once the control gate has been erected, he said “mga DOJ family, government service workers, mga emergency service workers at yung mga students and teachers and school officials ay bibigyan po natin ng permit to use the access road (the Department of Justice family, government service workers, emergency service workers, students, teachers, and school officials will be given access to the road).”
“Ang ating mandate kailangan po mai-secure ang prison camp ayon sa batas (It is part of BuCor’s mandate to secure its prisons in accordance with the law),” he explained.
He disclosed that the road was blocked due to the presence of unidentified individuals.
“Madalas may nakikita kaming mga unidentified persons na pagala-gala doon sa reservation (We often find unidentified persons roaming the reservation),” he said.
“Once na nakahuli kami ng mga ganoon, maghighigpit kami at bibilangin namin ulit isa-isa ang mga preso sa aming kampo because we assume yun ay tumakas o escaped prisoner (Once we apprehend such individuals, we tighten security at our prison camps and count the number of prisoners because we assume that those persons could be escapees),” he said.
Also, he said, there have been a number of reported criminal activities and contraband being thrown into the prison camps.