NBP officials placed on floating status

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2012 11:30 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2012 09:29 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Top officials of New Bilibid Prisons were placed on floating status following last Friday’s grenade blast inside the state penitentiary's maximum security compound, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Monday.

Placed on floating status are NBP Superintendent Ramon Reyes, maximum security compound superintendent Roberto Rabo, medium security superintendent Dante Cruz, and minimum security and penal institution supervisor Heraldo Arro.

De Lima said superintendents who are being shuffled every now and then in the various security compounds may already have been compromised due to familiarity with gang leaders and syndicate leaders inside the NBP.

She said she will immediately appoint new superintendents and officers-in-charge from the ranks of the junior officers.

All prison guards at the entrance and exit points will also be immediately relieved for failing to seize contraband items in and out of the state penitentiary.

De Lima also ordered the immediate transfer of gang leaders to penal colonies in other parts of the country or to the medium security compound because these leaders are reportedly very influential even among prison officers.

Grenade blast

The justice secretary confirmed that the suspect behind the grenade blast is a member of the Batang Samar Leyte Gang. She refused to divulge his identity pending confirmation.

The National Bureau of Investigation is already enhancing the CCTV footage of the blast.

Two witnesses who are members of the Batang City Jail gang will be subjected to polygraph test.

De Lima also ordered a new series of raids inside the maximum security compound to check for grenades, firearms or any improvised explosive device.