The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is finishing preparations for the transfer 160 high-risk New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates to Caballo Island, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Wednesday.
The turnover is in line with the overwhelming number of drug suspects who surrendered to the police since the new administration took over.
"Because we don’t have (enough) rehabilitation facilities, we will use military camps," Aguirre told the Inquirer.
According to Aguirre, the inmates to be transferred will come from Building 14 and the Maximum Security Compound.
High-profile inmates such as drug convicts and syndicate leaders are held in Building 14, while the Maximum Security Compound houses those sentenced with 20 to 40 years imprisonment.
Aguirre explained that the move is necessary to stop the inmates from continuing their illegal activities inside the NBP.
Earlier, former Marine general and incoming BuCor director Alexander Balutan expressed in a Philstar report that the isolated prison facility is not feasible for high-value inmates.
"Kasi kung yung mga hardened criminals ang ilalagay dun, kailangan din natin ng mas matindi yung security pa natin, structures na gagamitin dun. Ang iniisip nga natin ay ilagay dun yung nasa minimum lang, yung medyo lalaya na," Balutan said.
Caballo Island, formerly called Fort Hughes, is currently occupied by the Philippine Navy.
In 2014, it was used as the quarantine ground for Filipino peacekeepers who came from Liberia and were affected by the deadly Ebola virus.