MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe what he earlier said was the “resurgent” drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntilupa City.
Department Order No.457 dated July 4 directs NBI director to do a case build-up and file the appropriate administrative and criminal cases against those responsible for the supposed comeback of the illegal trade inside the penitentiary.
“We wanted to get to the bottom of the reported resurgence of the drug trade in the NBP. We acted after verifying raw information provided by concerned individuals,” Aguirre said in a statement. “I have said it before and I will say it again, we shall be relentless in fighting and eradicating the drug menace.”
Aguirre said the probe will include some members of the police Special Action Force who could be linked to the return of the drug trade. The Duterte government deployed the SAF to help guard the NBP and put an end to the drug trade there, which authorities believe was protected by corrupted jail and Justice officials, including Aguirre’s predecessor, Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained while awaiting trial on drug trading charges.
“I have received reports that there were some reactivation (of the drug trade), we are doing something about this, we are going to end this resurgence, some sort of resurgence by some inmates. I talked to (Bureau of Corrections) director general (Benjamin delos Santos) last Saturday, and we know what we are going to do,” Aguirre told reporters Monday.
Aguirre has also said he has discussed changing the current SAF contingent at the NBP by the end of July with Director Benjamin Lusad, who commands the elite police unit.
But he stressed that the supposed resurgent trade only constitutes 5-10 percent of the previous extent of the illegal business.