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400 weapons, contrabands seized in Bilibid shakedown

Gerald Bantag
Bureau of Corrections chief, Director General Gerald Bantag and prison officers on Tuesday inspect hundreds of deadly weapons seized inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. The operation stemmed from the bloody riot last Friday that claimed the lives of nine prisoners.

CORRECTIONS officials led by Director General Gerald Bantag have implemented a prison shakedown following the bloody pre-dawn melee inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa last Friday which claimed the lives of nine gang members.

Seized during the search operation or “Oplan Galugad” were more than 400 prohibited items like bladed weapons and blunt instruments which were either stealthily hidden inside cells, or buried by persons deprived of liberty in the ground.

The surprised search operations were conducted at NBP Quadrant 4 (Quadrant East – Bldg #5) and Quadrant 3 (Quadrant South – Bldg #8) by a composite team from the Bureau of Corrections, NBP, Muntinlupa City Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine National Police Special Action Force, and NCR Regional Mobile Force Battalion.

The operation, according to a press statement from BuCor, was a preemptive effort to stop violence among the PDLs inside the NBP. Building 5 and Building 8 including its surrounding areas were targeted.

BuCor officials have been receiving persistent intelligence reports that bladed weapons and other contrabands, which warring groups like Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Sigue Sigue Commando Gangs used in the last riot, were being strategically stored in Building 5 and Building 8.

“This search operation is a strong message delivered to these two groups creating violations and distraction inside the prison camp that such criminal behaviors and activities need to be stopped at all cost,” BuCor said.

“This search operation will be sustained until such violent behaviors subside and normalcy return to the prison camp,” it added.

Nine inmates died and several others were injured after a pre-dawn melee ensued in NBP last Friday.

Quoting Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag, the Southern Police District said the altercation transpired at 2:30am and was controlled by prison officers at 4:00am.

Seven (7) members of the feared Sputnik Gang were killed, while two (2) inmates from rival Commando Gang perished.

The riot happened at the East Quadrant of the NBP, which was still reeling from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from NBP in Muntinlupa, the other BuCor prison facilities are Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City, the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Oriental Mindoro, Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao del Norte, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, and the Leyte Regional Prison in Southern Leyte.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years