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Bilibid Inmates Complain About Strict SAF Troopers

Shortened visiting hours and alleged physical abuse have prisoners crying foul
by Pauline Denisse Rivera | Jul 26, 2016
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Just days after the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) was put in charge of New Bilibid Prison (NBP), the inmates are already complaining of the stricter implementation of prison rules.

According to Msgr. Roberto Olaguer, the NBP chaplain, the strictness of the SAF troopers have riled up inmates who were used to more lax prison guards, GMA News reported.

"Kagabi nga merong bumati ata na isang bilanggo sa SAF na 'Good evening, sir' binigwasan agad eh."

Olaguer said even medications from visitors are now difficult to give to inmates as they may be considered as contrabands. Several inmates were also disgruntled by the shortened visitation hours at the NBP.

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Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told The Standard that there was no truth to the alleged human rights abuses committed by SAF troopers against the inmates.

"They say the SAF are already abusing their power. There is a claim that some SAF men fired shots, hosed inmates—with one of them even punching an inmate who was just asking a question. These are not true," he said.

Over the weekend, reports of alleged harassment and maltreatment of inmates have reached the chaplain, but he has yet to verify if they are true.


Olaguer said NBP inmates are starting to organize an assembly to voice out their concern and plead to President Rodrigo Duterte for help.

On Saturday, the maximum compound facility was placed on a complete lockdown as the police commandos conducted a second "Oplan Galugad" at the Quadrant 4 of the penitentiary.

Contrabands like shabu, cash, and other prohibited items were seized during the raid.

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