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Palawan eyed as island prison

The government is eyeing Palawan as the site of a high-security island prison for high-profile inmates similar to Alcatraz in the United States so that they would not be able to ply their trade behind bars.

“Meron na kaming kino-consider na ilang isla sa Palawan na talagang walang signal,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said yesterday.

Aguirre said that without cellphones or communication, they could no longer operate.

He stressed the need to have a high security prison after learning that 75 percent of illegal drugs transactions in the country take place within the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City using cellphones.

Once the island prison is ready, Aguirre said that high-profile inmates from the NBP will all be moved there.

Aguirre said there is also a need for all prison employees to undergo retraining. Once they finish retraining, he said that they will be dispersed to the seven facilities of the Bureau of Corrections in the country.

Known as “The Rock,” Alcatraz opened in 1934 and was considered the most secure prison in America during its time until it shut down in 1963 due to high operating expenses. (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)