Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the quick deployment of some 300 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) officers to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City is meant to ensure the success of the reforms currently being implemented by new Bureau of Corrections Chief Gerald Bantag who is on secondment from DILG-BJMP.
“The entire DILG organization fully supports BuCor chief Gerald Bantag in his mission to institute significant reforms in the NBP. I, together with PNP Chief Albayalde and BJMP Chief Iral, immediately acted on Bantag’s request for police and jail officers to be assigned to BuCor to help him implement the much-needed reforms that the President has personally directed,” Año said.
“We want Chief Bantag to succeed, therefore we are prepared to temporarily assign BJMP and PNP officers until such time that he is confident that his organic personnel can do the job properly and are rid of corrupt practices,” he said.
Año said that the 110 personnel from the BJMP includes 24 officers from the elite Special Tactics and Response Team. On the PNP side, a total of 195 Special Action Forces (SAF) troopers composed of 13 Police Commissioned Officers (PCOs) and 182 Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) are currently detailed at the NBP.
This move came after more than 300 BuCor Corrections officers with alleged irregularities were relieved pending investigation as part of the President’s directive to revamp the bureau.
A former Director at BJMP MIMAROPA and Jail Warden of the Parañaque and Manila City Jails, Bantag requested for augmentation from Secretary Año to secure the said facility while the BuCor is still in the process of getting rid of the modus operandi on illegal drug and other iillegal activities inside the country’s largest prison.
The DILG Chief assured that the deployed personnel will continue to assist in performing custodial functions until the BuCor Chief finishes the much-needed revamp and clean-up operations. “We will continue to extend the much needed help within our capabilities to ensure maximum security while investigations in the bureau are on-going and the regular Corrections Officers are on floating status,” he added.
He also expressed confidence that with Bantag’s wide experience in handling various jail facilities, there will be smoother implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law and more successful anti-illegal drugs campaign inside the NBP.
The revised GCTA Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) crafted by the DILG and the Department of Justice (DOJ) took effect on October 4.
Meanwhile, a liaison office composed of the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Armed Forces of the Philippines is now installed in the BuCor. This special office provides intelligence gathering and coordination to suppress drug operations and crime inside the said facility and to ensure that deployed police and jail officers will not be corrupted while inside the NBP. ###