The Philippine National Police sees no problem in extending the service of its elite Special Action Force as temporary guards of the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.
Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said the extension of the SAF duty at the NBP will depend on the availability of their police commandos.
“If there’s a request, the PNP will act on it especially if there’s no other deployment for SAF,” said Carlos.
At least 300 SAF commandos are currently assigned to the NBP amid President Duterte’s intention to put an end to the illegal drug trade inside the NBP that is allegedly being perpetrated by convicted drug lord.
The SAF deployment was initiated due to prevailing distrust on officials and prison guards of the NBP.
During a House hearing, Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II insinuated that he may ask for the extension of the service of SAF commandos at the NBP until such time that all prison guards have already been retrained.
Carlos said that PNP chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa has the final say on the matter.
Dela Rosa is currently in Colombia to attend an anti-terrorism and anti-illegal drugs forum.
Officials said some of the indications that the PNP may grant the request of SAF extension is the ongoing ceasefire with communist and Moro rebels which enabled the military and police forces to relax.
The only operation ongoing is in Basilan and Sulu where police and military forces are running after members of the Abu Sayyaf Group. (Aaron B. Recuenco)