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SAF duty at NBP extended after riot

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has granted the request of the Justice department to extend the service of its elite force as guards of the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

This, despite questions on how bladed weapons that were used in the alleged riot were able to be sneaked inside the NBP when it was already the Special Action Force (SAF) managing the security, aside from the illegal drugs if indeed the melee stemmed from the pot session of some of the convicted drug lords as earlier claimed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

“Yes, I will grant it and maybe change of company or battalion to avoid familiarity,” said Dela Rosa.

It was recalled that SAF commandos took over the NBP in July this year over suspicions that they were all tainted with corruption inside the NBP.

During one of the hearings in the House of Representatives, Aguirre said he would ask Dela Rosa to extend the service of SAF until such time that all the reform measures at the NBP are completed.

Dela Rosa said he sees nothing wrong with the extension of the SAF duty at the NBP, adding that his only concern is that SAF commandos would also be tainted with corruption.

“We have to change personnel to avoid what we fear which is the familiarity between the guards and the convicts,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said he will talk to the SAF leadership in the coming days to discuss the continuous and regular change of personnel at the NBP.

Amid insinuations on the lapses of SAF, Dela Rosa said he is standing by the police commandos on the issue of NBP security.

“They are still the best of my men. I stand by them. If they commit mistake, I am willing to put my neck on the line,” said Dela Rosa.

He then said that no contraband had entered the NBP since the SAF took over.

Unfortunately, Dela Rosa said the inmates were very good at hiding bladed weapons which was used in the alleged riot on Wednesday morning. (Aaron Recuenco)