More contraband were found inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) maximum security camp as authorities raided the facility for the fifth time yesterday.
This is the biggest search operation to date as it involved 5,729 prisoners, Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) spokesperson Police Senior Insp. Jonalyn Malnat said.
A composite team from the PNP’s SAF, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), PNP Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, PNP Crime Laboratory, Bureau of Corrections and NBP conducted the raid under the “Oplan Digmaang Droga” at the NBP quadrant 3 starting at 7 a.m..
After six hours, the team confiscated one sachet of suspected shabu, 663 bladed and pointed weapons, 246 batons, 96 cell phones, 132 chargers, 32 SIM cars, 64 extra cell phone batteries, 51 headsets, six portable WiFi routers, 10 tooters, 58 lighters, a laptop, jewelry, passport, 10 LPG tanks and P18,000 in cash.
Malnat said prisoners got very sly in hiding cell phones.
“The cell phones were really hidden. Some prisoners put the cell phones in lunch boxes and plastic bags and hid them in the garden or underground,” she said. “Ginagawan nila ng paraan para maitago ang mga kontrabando.”
Malnat showed an icebox whose sides were carved out by prisoners to hide two cell phones, one WiFi router and Bluetooth headset. The insoles of slippers were also carved out to hide one cell phone and a charger.
The Department of Justice previously said cell phones are used by drug lords in the NBP to continue their drug trade.
Incoming Bureau of Corrections Director Alexander Balutan said on Monday that his main aim is to cut off the means of communications of NBP drug lords, adding that he is satisfied to what the SAF has done so far at the NBP.