The Daily Manila Shimbun


AFP says drug lords still living in comfort in detention, PNP to investigate

February 9, 2017

The Philippine National Police (PNP) to look into the reported special treatment for the drug lords detained at the military custodial center in Camp Aguinaldo.

“If it is true, we will investigate and we will determine up to what extent is their (Special Action Force) influence over the control on the entry if there are any contraband being enters inside that facility,” PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Thursday.

“Their (SAF) main mission there is to secure the perimeter, they have to assure that those inmates will not able to escape, but as to the management of that facility we believe that’s a Bureau of Correction mandate as well as its maintenance,” he added.

A military investigation found high profile inmates inside the detention facility were allowed to use electronic gadgets, air condition, smart television and others.

The report showed special treatment was given to high-profile inmates based on the instruction of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, the VIP treatment is reportedly allowed in return to their testimony against Senator Leila De Lima.

Dela Rosa said “granting it’s true then it is burdensome.”

In a statement, Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Chief, said the report was submitted to the justice department for proper action.

“On the reported "lavish lifestyle of inmates" at Military Police Battalion Custodial Detention Center (MPBCDC): We acknowledge that we have a report; that report has been submitted to the cognizant agency i.e. DOJ (Department of Justice) thru channel for proper action,” he said.

“The content of the report is now with the DOJ,” Arevalo added.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said it is the Bureau of Corrections which manages the detention facility while the SAF provides security.

“The Bureau of Corrections is the one in charge of running that custodial center for high profile inmates, in fairness to the SAF, their job is to guard and to ensure that they cannot escape, so in fairness to them they are not responsible on the whatever that enters (the facility) because their mandate or order to them to ensure that the inmate will not escape,” he said.

Arevalo said  the “BuCor-DOJ has control, administration, and management of the inmates, the determination as to who will be kept in that facility, the mode of transfer and when, including the guards will be by the DOJ.”

He said the AFP merely made a facility available for that purpose per memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of National Defense (DND) and DOJ.

Arevalo said that the military has three recommendations on the report which include the seizure of unauthorized fixtures and equipment, strict implementation of the MPBCDC referring to security and the immediate installation of CCTV.

“The SOJ ( Secretary of Justice) has already stated in his interview that he has immediately ordered the inspection and dismantling of those unauthorized equipment if found. Meanwhile, permissions to visit the facility will have to be obtained from DOJ,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS