MANILA (Mabuhay) — Police commandos on Friday conducted another raid at the maximum security compound of New Bilibid Prison and demolished “villas” set up by drug lords and robbery gang leaders in the prison.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has entered at least five “kubols” used by Arman Agojo, Vicente Sy, Eugene Chua and Benjamin Marcelo and ordered the raiding team to check the ceilings for contraband.
At least two airconditioning units were found hidden in the ceiling of Sy’s kubol.
A private gym was also found behind a false wall inside another kubol.
De Lima castigated Bureau of Corrections personnel for failing to confiscate the contraband items. She said she believes jail guards are colluding with the prisoners.
She also ordered a two-storey villa converted to a common area for inmates.
The justice secretary is set to talk to 19 convicted drug lords and robbery gang leaders and give them a six-month ultimatum to surrender their contraband items.
Friday’s raid comes just four days after police commandos found narcotics, cash, sex toys, a jacuzzi, guns and Rolex watches in the villas of high-profile inmates.
De Lima said President Aquino is particularly alarmed by reports that high-powered firearms were found inside the jail and ordered a full investigation as to the source of the guns.
Some of the guns seized inside Bilibid are registered to several politicians, including an incumbent congressman.
The justice chief said she has given show cause memos to Bilibid officials to explain why the contraband items were allowed inside the prison.
“They better have a good explanation, otherwise nanganganib na sila,” she said.
At least two senators, Francis Escudero and Sergio Osmena III, have called for BuCor director Franklin Bucayu’s removal from office.
Osmena said if Bucayu insists on having no knowledge of the illegal activities inside the NBP, he is either lying or incredibly incompetent.
Earlier, members of the House of Representatives also called for Bucayu’s resignation following reports of illegal drug operations inside the prison facility. (MNS)