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Resurgence of NBP drug trade bared

By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG

The illegal drugs trade is starting to make a comeback at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday.

“I have received reports that there were some reactivation,” Aguirre told reporters.

“We are doing something about this. We are going to end this resurgence, some sort of resurgence by some inmates,” assured Aguirre who learned about the comeback of the narcotics trading on Saturday from Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Benjmin Delos Santos.

The secretary said he learned that the return of the narcotics trade involves new players other than the high-profile inmates who had claimed giving millions to detained Senator Leila de Lima.

Though he boasted 75 percent of the drug trading has been stamped out since he introduced measures at the NBP, Aguirre disclosed the resurgence took place several months ago with a five to 10 percent increase in activities.

Aguirre said among the steps he intends to take is replacing the current contingent of the elite Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) which have been there since July last year.

“We will be changing the SAF contingent there with another SAF contingent,” said Aguirre, adding he has already talked with the head of the SAF about his plans.

“Dapat sana ang ipapalit namin doon ‘yung katulad ng original plan is ‘yung Marines,” said Aguirre.

The Marines, however, have been deployed to Marawi City to fight members of the Maute terrorist group.

The secretary said the current SAF contingent, who are supposed to stay there for three months only, might have fostered familiarity already with the inmates of the NBP.

Because of this, Aguirre said he will also have an investigation to find out if any of the SAF member got involved in the drug trading.

“Tignan natin kung sa investigation ay meron sufficient evidence to charge personnel of the SAF,” he said.

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