Drug trafficking isn’t the only crime being perpetrated with the supervision of convicts in the New Bilibid Prison. The Anti-Kidnapping Group of the Philippine National Police arrested last month four men for kidnapping the owner of a steel trading firm in Cabuyao, Laguna. The AKG said the suspects pointed to Tyrone dela Cruz, a convict in the NBP, as the mastermind who directed them to demand a ransom of P15 million from the victim.
Dela Cruz is serving time for kidnapping. Probers are pursuing reports that an inspector who is set to retire from the Bureau of Corrections smuggled mobile phones to Dela Cruz in exchange for P6,000 per unit.
Congressional investigations showed that cell phones also allowed several NBP inmates to continue supervising large-scale drug trafficking operations outside the prison. These inmates have turned the country’s main prison facility into the most secure base of operations for drug trafficking and other crimes including, as in the case of Dela Cruz, even kidnapping for ransom.
How hard is it to restrict prisoners’ communication with the outside world? They can still be allowed to stay in touch with loved ones, lawyers or friends through landlines. There are metal detectors to prevent smuggling of cell phones, guns, grenades and bladed weapons into prison cells. It shouldn’t be impossible to design a system of checking each jail personnel for any attempt to smuggle contraband into the prison compound. (The Philippine Star) – July 4, 2018 – 12:00am
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