MANILA - Metro Manila's former police chief defended Thursday the demolition of illegal structures inside the New Bilibid Prison, which some groups have decried after inmates were supposedly left without sleeping quarters.
These shanties serve as a "haven" for contraband items, according to PNP Chief Directorial Staff Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
"The point is itong illegal structures they serve as haven, ito ang taguan. Bago ka magconduct ng inspection ang dami nilang way para itago d'yan. Kung tatanggalin 'yun mas madali ngayon ang pag-iinspect sa kanila," he told ANC's Early Edition.
(The point is these illegal structures serve as haven, this is where they hide contraband. Before you conduct an inspection, they have many ways to hide contraband there. If we remove this, inspection would be easier.)
Volunteers earlier said the structures were put up by convicts who wanted to help the Bureau of Corrections in providing for inmates.
But Eleazar said allowing the construction of shanties gave control to inmates.
"Ang nangyari parang sila na ang may control eh. Pag nakita mo 'yun, parang barangay na may maze o labyrinth d'yan eh. Pwedeng pagpasok ng BuCor personnel maliligaw ka, pwedeng saksakin ka na lang dyan sa loob kasi all the contraband are there," he said.
(It seems like they are now in control. If you see it, it's like a village with a maze or a labyrinth. If a BuCor personnel enters it, he could get lost or be stabbed since all the contraband are there.)
"In the first place illegal 'yung structures na nandun eh so whether ang matitinong PDL (persons deprived of liberty) na nandoon, in the first place dapat wala 'yun."
(In the first place these are illegal structures, whether or not good inmates are there, these should not be allowed.)
Eleazar, meantime, assured the public that policemen caught smuggling contraband would face sanctions.
"Kakasuhan sila at di tayo maghesitate na tanggalin sila. Dapat managot 'yung dapat managot," he said.
(They will face charges and we will not hesitate to remove them. Those who are liable should be held accountable.)
The former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office said he did not hesitate to lend a helping hand to the BuCor since Muntinlupa was within his jurisdiction.
He added that they have identified leaders of criminal activities inside the prison but did not give further details.
"For the past years na I’m in NCRPO, ang nakita ko almost itong malalaking operations na isinagawa namin na nakahuli ng malalaki, emanated dun sa nagbibigay ng control and direction, ang nagmamanage nasa loob ng Bilibid Prison," he said.
(For the past years in my service in NCRPO, I saw our big operations that resulted in the arrest of high-value targets, they emanated from those who give control and direction from inside the Bilibid Prison.)
"Kung matutulungan ko ang BuCor, eh matutulungan na rin namin yung (sarili namin) to solve the problem."
(If I can help BuCor, I can help us solve the problem.)