‘Relocate NBP or its inmates ASAP’

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the plan to relocate the NBP was long overdue.

Photo by Joey Sanchez Mendoza

Senator Francis Tolentino is urging authorities to hasten plans to relocate the country’s national penitentiary amid controversies hounding the Bureau of Corrections.

Tolentino said “relocating and decongesting” the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City would significantly contribute to the eradication of organized syndicates operating for high-profile inmates.

He added in a radio interview that the initiative will prevent the logistical connection of the high-profile inmates.

“The culture of syndicates would be dismantled if they would be relocated and transferred to the other penitentiary. That culture of hierarchy is still there,” Tolentino said in Filipino.

He cited among the controversies the Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa killing being pinned on suspended BuCor chief Gerald Bantag.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the plan to relocate the NBP was long overdue. In the past 20 years, about 400 escapes had been logged at the NBP.

The Department of Justice, which oversees BuCor, has been planning to move NBP inmates to the government-owned 10-hectare penal colony in Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental — a segment of Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

Should the relocation pushes through, Tolentino explained inmates from the maximum-security compound will be transferred to the Mindoro site.

Those in the minimum and medium-security NBP compounds will have their respective quarter assignments in the allotted area inside Fort Magsaysay, according to the plan.

“If you will relocate them to mountainous places where they don’t have connections, I think they might learn agricultural activities unlike here when they’re close to their connections,” Tolentino said.

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