Monday, July 3, 2017

Aguirre mulls probe on SAF members involved in Bilibid drug trade

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 3): Aguirre mulls probe on SAF members involved in Bilibid drug trade

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he will order a probe on some members of Special Action Force (SAF) who may have been involved in the resurgence of illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

“I have received reports that there were some reactivation, we are doing something about this, we are going to end this resurgence, some sort of resurgence by some inmates. I talked to Director General [Benjamin delos Santos last Saturday, and we know what we are going to do,” Aguirre told reporters after the thanksgiving mass held in DoJ on Monday.

He added that the resurgence constitutes only about 5 to 10 percent as compared to the extent of the previous illegal drug operations.

“We have successfully curbed 75 percent of the illegal drug trade. If ever, the resurgence is about five to 10 percent only and we are going to clip it again,” Aguirre said.

More than 300 SAF contingents who have been deployed at Bilibid last year were supposed to stay only for three to six months and then they will be replaced by the Marines.

He noted that some members of the police’s elite force may have been involved due to their familiarity with the inmates.

The rotation did not push through, said Aguirre because the Marines have been busy fighting in Marawi City.

“I have to admit because of their familiarity, they have stayed there for more than six months, masyadong matagal eh. Ang aming plano dito is only about three month and apparently, because of the huge amount of money medyo nati-taint,” Aguirre explained.

Aguirre said he will talk to the head of SAF for a possible investigation.

Aguirre charges would be filed against any SAF personnel who would be found involved in illegal drug activities inside the NBP.

Aguirre said that he considered the neutralization of drug syndicates inside the NBP as one of his biggest accomplishments during his one year term in office, a resurgence of such groups inside the facility should be dealt with immediately.

Aguirre noted that 70 to 75 percent of illegal drugs in the country were being trafficked from inside the NBP prior to the assumption of the Duterte administration.

Based on Aguirire’s first year accomplishment report, a total of 11,462 contrabands were confiscated through 26 Oplan Galugad operations inside the NBP.

The SAF contingent took over last year replacing BuCor jail guards who were made to undergo re-training.

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