SAF’s heavy hand clench Bilibid

3 days right after a combat-trained police force was place in control of New Bilibid Prison (NBP), reports of maltreatment are near the Catholic priest who ministers for the inmates. Msgr. Roberto Olaguer, the NBP chaplain, stated numerous inmates had complained their particular new guards in the Unique Action Force (SAF) have been using violence to enforce prison rules. He stated a SAF officer allegedly punched a prisoner inside the stomach because of wearing the orange NBP uniform. An additional inmate also took a punch just for saying “good morning” to an officer, while a Muslim inmate was known as out for sporting a beard, that your SAF member allegedly pulled.

“These are just factors which have been distributed to me; I didn't see these incidents for myself, so I nevertheless must verify if they are accurate,” Olaguer said within the interview on Saturday.

Awakened at 3 a.m.

“Some [inmates] smiled and told me which they have been roused from sleep by the SAF around three a.m. just to check whenever they were wearing their uniforms although inside their cells. But it’s just natural for a lot of inmates to not put on shirts whilst sleeping as a result of the warmth.”

Because the SAF took over on Wednesday, going to schedules have been disrupted, with the inmates’ households struggle to enter regardless of being promised a 30-minute overlook NBP Supt. Roberto Rabo, the priest mentioned. “It appears the SAF are not answering [to Rabo].” Reached for comment, Chief Supt. Benjamin Lusa, your head in the SAF battalion used on NBP, denied the allegations against his guys. “That isn't correct. We don’t do that. We are expert police officers.”

‘Due respect, courtesy’

In spite of the strict orders for them to secure Bilibid, it's also with their mandate to treat the prisoners with “due respect and courtesy,” Lusa said around the phone. Olaguer stated he himself had felt the SAF’s strictness when he was virtually barred from entering the prison facility in Muntinlupa City since he forgot to wear his ID. As for the visitors being barred considering that Wednesday, Lusa explained that this was merely because of ongoing operations included in the prison, especially in the maximum safety compound, to rid the buildings of contraband. He did not give you a particular answer when asked how lengthy the operations would last, citing the big NBP area they nevertheless need to cover.

Meanwhile, Olaguer mentioned, the 217 guards from the Bureau of Corrections who were replaced by the SAF have been “demoralized” because they felt they had been “branded as scalawags.” The BuCor protection is currently undergoing “retraining” at Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba, Laguna, he said.


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