Press Release
August 17, 2017

Sen. Bam: BuCor and Customs must clean up drug trade

During the budget hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its attached agencies, Sen. Bam Aquino questioned Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre about the resurgence of illegal drugs inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

It was revealed that the Bureau of Corrections knowingly allows high-profile inmates involved in illegal drugs to transact with their cohorts outside the NBP in the guise of a sting operation.

However, even the Justice Secretary questioned these operations as it may have caused the resurgence of the drug trade in the NBP.

"It's very frustrating na tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang daloy ng drugs. Our Customs allows billions of pesos worth of shabu in the country and BuCor allows the drug trade in Bilibid to continue," said Sen. Bam, vice chairman of the committee on finance.

An NBP official explained that the transfer of high-profile inmates was part of two case operation plans (COPLAN) established by an inter-agency body, which includes the DOJ and Philippine National Police (PNP). However, the DOJ disavowed any knowledge of these operations.

During the said scheme, which was implemented last January 2017, high-profile inmates were moved to medium security and allowed to transact from their contacts outside so they can be identified and caught by law enforcement agencies.

Sen. Bam asked the NBP to submit the details of the COPLAN and the agencies involved in the inter-agency cooperation in the next budget hearing and the DOJ has also agreed to look into the matter.

"BuCor and Customs must clean up their act and stop facilitating the flow of drugs in the country," Sen. Bam stated.

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