Citing the October 22 incident where the killer of a former Masbate City mayor was shot dead right inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prisons—the national penitentiary—the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) is urging the government to place the NBP in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Dante Jimenez, VACC chairman, said the drastic measure his group is suggesting will end the culture of crime and corruption even as he blamed resigned Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for her failure to clear the NBP of firearms, explosives, illegal drugs and other contrabands.
Charlie Quidato, former jail warden of Masbate City, was shot and killed at 5:20 p.m. on Thursday inside Dorm 9, Building 2, by a fellow inmate and member of the Commando Gang Ronald Catapang, a convicted drug trafficker.
Quidato was convicted for murdering then-Masbate City mayor Moises Espinosa on August 9, 2001.
Last October 22 incident, Quidato was ordering Catapang to throw a grenade at leaders of the Commando Gang who were having an elders’ meeting. Catapang instead turned to the victim.
Jimenez said people were made to believe that the NBP will be free from contrabands even after 19 rich and influential inmates were brought back to the NBP’s Building 14 after brief detention at the National Bureau of Investigation.
The VACC founder added that people were given false hopes that NBP management will improve after then-Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) head Franklin Jesus Bucayu was replaced by former Army general Ricardo Reiner Cruz.
“It seems that what we are witnessing in the NBP is just the tip of the iceberg that needs a major surgery [that can be done]by imposing drastic measures which we victims of heinous crimes demand,” Jimenez said.
Then-BuCor chief Dionisio Santiago, a former chief of staff of the AFP, imported military personnel during his term at NBP.
Irregularities in the national penitentiary did not stop, however.
In fact, the presence of a shabu laboratory there was even exposed.