'Why not let the military take over Bilibid?'

By Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News Channel

Posted at Dec 19 2014 06:50 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2014 02:50 AM

 

MANILA - The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) believes it is time for the military to take over the corruption-riddled New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and reinstate capital punishment to strike fear among criminals.

The crime watchdog group has expressed anger following the series of raids at the national penitentiary that yielded several contraband and prohibited items including firearms, communications and entertainment equipment, illegal drugs, cash, sex toys, and valuable items, among others.

VACC chairman Martin Diño said they are frustrated that illegal activities continue even inside the facility's maximum security compound.

"Hirap na hirap kaming ipakulong itong mga drug lord na ito lalo na yung ibang mga criminals diyan sa loob. Agrabyado naman ang mga biktima na akala namin na matapos kaming dumaan sa napakahirap na proseso ng ating batas, most especially sa loob ng court room, tapos malalaman namin na ganito pala ang kahihinatnan ng aming paghihirap. Eh para silang nasa hotel," Diño said.

He also questioned why a criminal was able to build a recording studio inside prison and even create a music video and get a platinum recording award.

"Nagpagawa pa ng sariling studio sa loob ng Bilibid Prison, mas maganda pa yata sa studio ng ANC. Pagkatapos kumpleto ang kanyang equipment, may pang-YouTube pa. Susmaryosep naman, hindi naman siguro sasabihin na ito ay isang programa ng ating BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) para sa rehabilitation ng mga preso," he said.

Because of these developments, the group is now reviving calls for the reinstatement of capital punishment.

"Hinihiling namin na ibalik sana ang parusang bitay para hindi na maghari itong mga salot na drug lord na ito, na kung saan hindi lang ho isang Pilipino ang binibiktima. Isang pamilya, isang lahing Pilipino ang sisnisira ng droga," Diño said.

Diño also pushed for the transfer of Bilibid to a remote area and putting soldiers in charge of the facility.

"Ilagay yan sa island, yung talagang walang cell site. Dahil pag may access sa communication, tuloy-tuloy pa rin yan."

"Dapat dito tanggalin yang mga BuCor official na yan mula sa taas hanggang baba, tapos kung maaari ang humawak muna ng ating mga bantay diyan ay mga Marines o kaya ang ating kasundaluhan hanggang sa maiayos yan," he said.

The VACC hopes genuine reform will take place inside Bilibid now that concrete pieces of evidence of abuses and violations by both inmates and prison officials have come to light.

But the group also knows it could take a long time and a great deal of effort before such changes can happen.