Palace mum on latest ‘Bilibid’ raid

November 5 2015 7:20 PM

Edwin LacierdaMalacañang distanced itself from the November 4 raid at the national penitentiary that yielded high-powered firearms, illegal drugs and sums of money.

Joint units of the Bureau of Corrections-Special Weapons and Tactics (Bucor-Swat) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confiscated a set of high-powered firearms, illegal drugs and other contraband inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“We will defer to DOJ (Department of Justice) to look into the matter as the NBP is under its jurisdiction,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a text message on Thursday, Nov. 5, when asked to comment on the matter.

Authorities conducted the surprise raid inside the dormitories of notorious gangs Sputnik, Commando, and Sigue-Sigue, retrieving high-caliber guns, sex toys, bladed weapons, illegal drugs, appliances, mobile phones and a civet cat from Palawan.

A civet cat, locally known as musang, is reportedly the symbol of the Commando gang. In Indonesia, coffee farmers use the beans derived from civet cat’s droppings as coffee known as Kopi luwak or civet coffee.

In December 2014, the NBP drew criticisms after a raid exposed the luxurious lifestyle of high-profile inmates inside the prison cells. It was revealed that several inmates were living like kings inside makeshift shelters with millions of money, jacuzzi, stripper bar, illegal drugs, flat screen TVs, and other contraband.

The scandal resulted in the removal of several prison officials including its director, Franklin Jesus Bucayu. He was replaced by retired Army General Ricardo Rainier Cruz III.

The DOJ is currently headed by former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Benjamin Caguioa, who replaced Leila de Lima, a senatorial candidate for the Liberal Party in the 2016 elections.

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