Charges should be filed against New Bilibid Prison (NBP) guards and officials after investigations showed that illegal drugs and weapons were still found inside Building 14 of the maximum security compound, lawmakers said Wednesday.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted before the House Committee on Justice that several high-profile inmates who were involved in a September stabbing incident also tested positive for drugs.
"Sa report, parang walang accountability kahit sinong opisyal na nakabantay sa NBP. When I said nakabantay, I didn't mean Special Action Force (SAF) or guards only... kasama na kung sino man may hawak ng institusyon," Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves said.
(It seems that no official who is in charge of supervising the NBP was made liable for the incident. When I say in charge, I was not only referring to the SAF and the guards... officials in charge of the institution should also be liable.)
"Kung walang na-smuggle na ice pick, at walang na-smuggle na droga, hindi mangyayari yung pangyayari," Teves added, referring to the stabbing incident that took the life of an inmate and severely injured 3 others.
(The incident would not have happened if an ice pick was not smuggled, if drugs were not smuggled.)
Investigators would first have to determine when and how the contraband managed to enter the NBP before charges can be filed against individuals, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Director Benjamin Magalong said.
"We have to know when the weapons went inside Building 14. Was it during the time of the Bureau of Corrections or was it during the time of SAF?" Magalong asked.
Lawmakers resolved to come up with guidelines to determine which agency should be responsible for the lapse in security as they felt that jail officials were trying to protect themselves from any liability.