No firearm found in 'escape tunnel'
MANILA - New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Superintendent Roberto Rabo denied the existence of a tunnel that is allegedly being used by VIP inmates to move in and out of the facility undetected.
Rabo said the supposed tunnel is an old drainage system of the facility that was discovered by personnel of water concessionaire Maynilad who were installing a new water pipe.
He said the drainage has not been used for some time.
"Ito po ay old drainage at patay na po yang drainage na yan, hindi na ginagamit. Nung August 12 po sa paghuhukay ng Maynilad, nadaanan po ng excavation. Ito po ay reported naman sa amin at tiningnan namin. Ni-request din namin sa Maynilad na kung maaari ay masaraduhan ito," he said.
Rabo also denied reports that a firearm was recovered from the tunnel.
"Baka naman po may mga taong gustong manira. Hindi ko malaman kung saan nanggaling yung kwentong meron daw tunnel dito at merong baby armalite. Eh wala naman pong katotohanan," he stressed.
Reports said the "tunnel" was found at the back of Building 11-D, which serves as a detention facility for former soldiers and police officers.
The spot where the tunnel was found was also near the prison cell of convicted drug lord Amin Buratong.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered jail officials to submit a report on the matter.
The prison system has taken a hit in recent years after several high-profile inmates were found to have been given VIP treatment and sometimes allowed to leave the prison without approval from authorities. -- Report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News