Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa visited the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Taguig City on Wednesday to check on reports that the illegal drug trade has resumed inside the prison facility.
De la Rosa was shown talking to members of the Special Action Force (SAF) who have been deployed to the NBP to guard against the sale and proliferation of drugs like “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
De la Rosa’s visit was prompted by Justice Secretary Aguirre’s claim that the illegal drug trade has returned to the NBP.
Senator Leila de Lima is the highest official who has been linked to the drug operations at the NBP. As justice secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III, she led a series of prison raids that uncovered the illegal activity.
Witnesses during investigations at the House of Representatives, however, testified to de Lima’s involvement in the drug trade which, they claimed, was used to raise funds for the then justice secretary’s senatorial campaign.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II used these testimonies to file drug charges against the incumbent senator who has since been detained at the PNP Custodial Center.
In an attempt to curb the sale and proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP, authorities have replaced the jail guards with police commandos.