Tunnel found in Bilibid

By Aie Balagtas See, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 19 2014 09:47 AM | Updated as of Aug 19 2014 05:47 PM

MANILA - Excavators of a water firm discovered yesterday a tunnel leading outside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) maximum security compound, where murderers and high-profile convicts are detained.

A source told The STAR that the tunnel was found at the back of Building 11-D, which serves as a detention facility for former soldiers and police officers.

“It was closed after it was discovered by the water firm,” the insider said.

The building is also near the lethal injection room and the detention facility of Pasig shabu tiangge operator Amin Imam Boratong.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who has direct supervision over the prison, ordered Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu to find out why an open tunnel was kept in Bilibid.

In 2002, a short tunnel was discovered at the compound. Officials said the tunnel, measuring two feet, was found between the Iglesia ni Cristo and Seventh-Day Adventists chapels.

The chapels are located near Building 1, Dorm C where there were 317 inmates, 99 of whom had death sentences affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Officials said that in 1980, 20 inmates escaped through another tunnel.

Meanwhile, an inmate was wounded when a riot erupted in the compound yesterday afternoon.

Jainor Voluntate was stabbed and rushed to the NBP Hospital, while attacker Jose Balinas Jr. was placed under NBP custody.

In a text message, De Lima said the riot happened at about 4 p.m.

The riot was placed under control but the motive has yet to be established.