'Bato' orders 'lights out' policy for Bilibid inmates

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2018 04:35 PM

MANILA- Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said Monday he has ordered a "lights out" policy prohibiting inmates of the New Bilibid Prison from loitering beyond 10 p.m.

Dela Rosa said the move is among the reforms he implemented to fight the problem of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary.

"Para ma-limit ang drug activity sa mga prison camps, 10 p.m. I implement lights off. Walang galawan, walang loitering," he said.

(To limit drug activity in prison camps, lights should be turned off by 10 p.m. No movements and loitering.)

Inmates are then allowed to wake up at 4:30 a.m. for their physical exercise.

"In that way, nakapag-impose tayo ng disiplina, nabawasan ang transaction sa droga at naka-save pa tayo ng kuryente ng gobyerno," Dela Rosa said. 

(In that way, we impose discipline, drug transactions are minimized and we also save electricity on the part of the government.)


Dela Rosa also warned doctors and medical personnel assigned in the Bilibid not to be in cahoots with the inmates. 

This after he revealed that some inmates pretend to be sick or mentally challenged to evade tight security, just like the case of one particular inmate. 

He said a certain inmate allegedly pretends to be deranged whenever there is a surprise inspection. The said inmate is supposedly a supplier of illegal drugs within the national penitentiary.

"Sabi ko sa kanila, lahat ng technical officers o lahat ng personnel na na-assign doon sa health service, I’m watching you," Dela Rosa said.

(I told all of the technical officers or the personnel assigned to the health service that I am watching them.)

While he admitted that the drug problem persists in the national penitentiary, Dela Rosa explained that this has been reduced to 20 percent from 50 percent last month.

"Di ko masabi na totally cleared. Meron pa rin diyan siguro kumalma lang siguro, hindi pa dumidiskarte dahil alam nilang istrikto ako," he said.

(I cannot say that it's totally cleared. Maybe there are still some drug peddlers there who just calmed down because they know that I am strict.)

Strict inspection for visitors, especially women, has also been implemented to avoid the possible entry of contraband, he added.

Dela Rosa said he has also begun weeding out corrupt Bilibid personnel including those whom he discovered are behind the plot to remove the Special Action Force from guarding high profile detainees and drug lords inside building 14.