NCRPO says Bilibid inmates may have been tipped off about inspection
The acting regional director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday said detainees may have been alerted about the inspection at New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
In a press briefing, Police Major General Debold Sinas said they are investigating if the “Coplan Cerberus” conducted last Monday was leaked to some inmates as the operation was compromised.
"So, we are now investigating… some contacts (in confiscated cellphones) are active. I asked the (intel) and they said (inmates) are really texting each other… Those are just reports, we are verifying it. It’s hard to charge (people) without evidence,” he said.
"That's part of our work, there are operations beyond our control but it did not surpass us in doing our job," Sinas said.
The operation was conducted at quadrants 2 and 3 of the New Bilibid Prison where several pieces of contraband were confiscated including 575 electronic gadgets, 1,884 appliances, 62 casino chips or playing cards, 35 sex toys, 132 tobaccos, 11 bottles of alcoholic beverages, some deadly weapons, more than 800 drug paraphernalia, and cash amounting to more than P26,000.
Authorities also confiscated some rusty nails, metal pipes, gallons gas, hand tools and some pieces of jewelry.
However, Sinas said they did not confiscate a huge volume of illegal drugs during the raid in the two quadrants but only drug paraphernalia such as foils, lighters and tooters.
Asked if the use of illegal drugs remains rampant inside the national penitentiary, Sinas did not categorically confirm it.
“Maybe yes. I cannot say it categorically because we only recover few (illegal drugs),” he said. “Most of the (illegal drugs transaction) there is through cellphone communications”.
The NCRPO chief said though the operation was leaked, they have learned their lesson and the next conduct of operation would be planned in a more orderly manner to avoid any sharing of information.
"If ever we will do this again, we will do it better to avoid any leak of information… we will also trace who is the one leaking… is it inside the Bilibid? From our police? We really need coordination,” he said.
Over 5,300 personnel from various agencies participated in the Coplan Cerberus in the national penitentiary.
These include forces from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Force - National Capital Region, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - NCR, Bureau of Fire Protection - NCR, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine National Police - Special Action Force and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Elements from the NCRPO were composed of different reactionary units and teams such as the Regional and District Mobile Force Battalion, Special Weapons And Tactics, Civil Disturbance Management Teams and police trainees of Basic Internal Security Operations Course and NCRPO Orientation Program.
In a separate statement, Sinas said the operation was conducted to increase the jail’s security and to ensure orderliness at the NBP’s maximum security compound.
"NCRPO pledges its commitment to the endeavor of the New Bilibid Prison to cleanse the national penitentiary from all forms of contraband and illegal drugs in order to effectively promote genuine reformation to persons under their custody,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS