Bantag, Eleazar lead dismantling of illegal structures in Bilibid

Newly-appointed Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag on Wednesday led the dismantling of illegal structures inside the controversy-ridden New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

According to Bantag, these illegal structures mostly makeshift huts serve as the storage areas of inmates in hiding their contrabands such as illegal drugs, cellular phones, and weapons from prison officers.

Bantag however failed to mention the exact quantity of drugs, weapons, and other contrabands confiscated.

“Kapag ia-allow mo ung ganyang klaseng illegal structures na yan diyan sila nagtatago kapag gumagamit ng cellphones, hindi mo na makita.. Ngayon kapag may intel kang narecive diyan, gusto mong pasukin ng mabilisan dahil meron silang sariling lock diyan, wala na, bago ka makarating sa kontrabando kung nasaan man yun, napigilan ka na, natago na, naipasa na kaya yun giniba natin,” Bantag told reporters in a chance interview.

Also present during the operation was
National Capital Region Police chief Guillermo Eleazar and contingents from the Special Action Force and Philippine Army.

Bantag was recently appointed by President Duterte to head BuCor. He replaced Nicanor Faeldon.

As head of BuCor, Bantag will be in charge of seven other prison facilities – the NBP, Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, 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, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, and the Leyte Regional Prison in Southern Leyte.

Bantag once served as warden of the Parañaque and Manila City Jails.

But Bantag was charged with 10 counts of murder for a deadly explosion at the Parañaque City Jail when he was its warden. The grenade explosion in August 2016 killed 10 inmates, including two Chinese nationals accused of drug-related crimes.

A Parañaque City court had even issued an arrest warrant against Bantag.

Senator Bong Go had hinted last September 11 that he had recommended to Duterte that he appoint a “killer” as new BuCor director-general.

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