Malacañang has ordered the Department of Justice to investigate the police raid into the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City that yielded high-powered firearms, illegal drugs, sex toys and other contraband.
“We will defer to DoJ [Department of Justice] to look into the matter as the NBP is under its jurisdiction,” said Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, in a text message to the Malacañang Press Corps.
Teams from the Bureau of Corrections-Special Weapons and Tactics unit and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency raided the dormitories of the Commando, Sigue-Sigue and Sputnik gangs, BuCor Director Ricardo Rainier Cruz said.
NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. supervised the raid.
Among the gangs in the NBP’s maximum security compound are the Batang City Jail, Batang Samar Leyte, OXO, Bahala Na, Happy Go Lucky, Batang Cebu, Genuine Ilocano, Bicol Romblon Masbate and Batman (or Batang Mandarambong).
Schwarzkopf said the raiders uncovered a cache of firearms—assault rifles, five 12-gauge shotguns, a 30 caliber carbine, .45 caliber pistols, .38 caliber revolvers, gun silencers, 50,000 bullets and 60 improvised bladed weapons —buried under the bunk of the Commando gang leader, who was earlier transferred to the prison’s high security facility along with 58 other high-value inmates.
The firearms were wrapped in plastic and discovered in the abandoned “kubol” of the gang leader, Cruz said.
Cruz said NBP guards would conduct surprise inspections of the national penitentiary regularly.
“The clearing operations will continue at the prison’s maximum security compound,” he said.
Authorities also seized a civet cat from Palawan, locally known as “musang,” from the Commando gang dormitory. The animal is the symbol of the gang.
Police also confiscated sex toys, shabu, drug paraphernalia, wooden knuckles, wine-making dispensers and gadgets such as flat screen televisions, refrigerators, mobile phones, chargers and more than P400,000 in cash.
According to the authorities, the raid was the biggest haul of contraband and firearms since late last year when then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the clearing of the “kubols” of high-profile inmates.
Nineteen convicts were removed from the NBP and transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation jail in Manila following the raid.
The inmates returned to the NBP recently but were isolated at the prison’s newly built high-security facility with separate detention cells and closed-circuit television cameras.
At least 14,000 convicts are held in the nine-hectare prison facility, Cruz said.
Cruz said the gangs have been grouped into barangay-type communities and their leaders are no longer elected by the inmates.