Press Release
January 6, 2015

Trillanes seeks to review PH's correctional system,
calls to investigate Bilibid scandal

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV files a resolution to conduct an investigation to review the current correctional system that tolerated special treatment to high-profile inmates and their illegal acts inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

"It is apparent that NBP personnel committed violations against their mandate when they allowed the entry of prohibited items and the construction of high-end 'kubols' inside the NBP as these did not just appear in an instant," said Trillanes.

On 15, 19, and 22 December 2014, surprise inspections headed by Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima were conducted with operatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the NBP's Maximum Security Compound, which houses convicted drug lords and notorious robbery gang leaders.

Said inspections revealed numerous appalling activities and items inside the prison. The operatives discovered the apparent continuation of drug trade within the premises of NBP, and found high-end special detention area or 'kubol' for these prisoners, which have extra-ordinary facilities such as jacuzzi, sauna, bath tub, music studio, generator, split-type air-conditioning units, Wi-Fi, a long conference table, game console, private gym, bar and a kitchen. Contraband items were also found in these kubols, which include diamond-studded Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier and Officine Panerai watches; a Louis Vuitton cash box; bottles of expensive wine and liquor; a life-size sex doll; wide-screen televisions; cell phones; money-counting machines; laptops; a projector and numerous appliances.

On top of these, wads of cash amounting to more than two million pesos, firearms, which are named under different government officials, and an undetermined amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as 'shabu', were also seized in the raid.

Further, in a separate incident, days after these inspections, an eight-year old girl was found naked and unconscious after an inmate, who was tested positive for using drugs, allegedly attempted to rape her inside the NBP's maximum security compound on New Year's Day.

Under Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1088, Trillanes said that one of the weaknesses of the Philippine Judicial system is its flawed correctional system and "as the first step to reform it, it is imperative to identify and hold accountable the NBP personnel and involved government officials who are responsible for the proliferation of contraband items in the NBP, and the Bureau of Correction's personnel who have neglected to keep prisoners from committing crimes while in their custody."

Trillanes earlier filed Senate Bill No. 793 to improve the existing correctional system in the country through the integration of its prison and jail system. One of its specific aims is to avoid fraternization between jail personnel and prisoners through reshuffling of personnel from one jail to another.

"More of this scandal will come out as we conduct the investigation, and we in the Senate should promptly address this issue by solving the loopholes in our correctional system," added Trillanes who was once detained for rising up against the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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