Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said 160 high-risk inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) will be transferred to Caballo Island.

Caballo Island is located east of Corregidor. Formerly Fort Hughes, it is currently occupied by the Philippine Navy.

In November 2014, 108 Filipino peacekeepers from Ebola-stricken Liberia were quarantined on the island for 21 days.

Incoming Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief, retired Marine Major General Alexander Balutan, together with Atty. Enan Orceo already conducted an ocular inspection of Caballo Island.

When asked if the 160 inmates will come from the Maximum Security Prison, Aguirre, in a text message said “yes, from Building 14 and Maximum.”

Building 14 houses the high-profile inmates, mostly drug convicts and leader of syndicates while inmates from the Maximum Security Compound are those sentenced to suffer imprisonment of 20 years and one day to 40 years imprisonment.

Aguirre said 40 support BuCor personnel will also be deployed to the island.
“We will just repair some facilities to suit our needs with minimum expenses. This is in line with our aim to decongest NBP,” Balutan told Aguirre.

The government wants to stop the convicts from continuing with their illegal activities.
High-profile inmates manage to continue with their illegal activities through the use of mobile phones.

Aguirre said it is necessary to isolate the inmates to be able to stop them from continuing with their illegal activities.

On the other hand, Aguirre said they would conduct an investigation into how illegal drugs have proliferated inside the prison.

He said he already talked to previous BuCor directors.
“Marami na akong BuCor director na nainterview (I have interviewed many BuCor directors),” Aguirre said adding that he twice talked to former BuCor Chief Vicente Vinarao who even wrote a book about NBP.

“Napakarami kong nakuha sa kanya (I have gathered information from him),” Aguirre said, noting that the information is helpful in their probe.

Source: Inquirer

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