MANILA - The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is set to file grave misconduct charges against 15 cops who allegedly smuggled contraband inside the New Bilibid Prisons.
"Kung mapatunayan natin na 'yung na-sneak nila ay para ibenta sa loob, grave misconduct ang ating ikakaso ang based on our administrative machinery 'yan po ay dismissal from service sa first offense," said BuCor spokesperson, Major Wena Dalagan.
Among the contraband seized from the said policemen were tobacco, alcohol, and cellular phones.
"Kahit mapatunayan natin na personal consumption ng PNP ito ay meron pa rin silang kakaharaping kaso dahil meron tayong directive na bawal po ang pagkakaroon ng cellphone during custodial and escorting function and 'yung kapag papasok sa jail o prison premises," she explained.
Dalagan said BuCor will submit their findings to the Philippine National Police. The bureau is looking at filing the charges before the National Police Commission, Dalagan said, adding that the infraction committed by the policemen may not be under the jurisdiction of the PNP's Internal Affairs Service.
"Ang pagkakaalam ko po ang jurisdiction ng IAS ay 'yung sa internal rules nila but then again it’s a different situation kasi they committed infraction doon sa kung saan sila naka-detail," she said.
The policemen involved are part of the augmentation force inside the national penitentiary that aids the BuCor during its clearing operations.
Dalagan said the incident won't affect the reforms that the new BuCor administration is putting in place.
Increasing augmentation force won't be necessary too as the BuCor is set to wrap up its clearing operations within this week, she said.
"Meron din tayong bagong graduates, ngayon ang graduation ng Corrections Officer 1. We are optimistic na sila ang new breed na magpapatupad ng mga gustong ipatupad ng ating bagong administrasyon," she said.
The BuCor, under its new chief, Gerald Bantag, recently demolished shanties as part of the reforms it is putting in place at the New Bilibid Prisons.
Bantag took over last month after his predecessor, Nicanor Faeldon, was fired by President Rodrigo Duterte, over alleged anomalies in the early release of heinous crime convicts.
"We assure the public that we are effecting sustainable change here na hindi lang 'yung matatawag nating ningas cogon," the BuCor spokesperson said.
The bureau came under fire following its alleged questionable implementation of the good conduct time allowance law (GCTA), allowing heinous crime convicts to be granted early release.
A Senate probe on the GCTA also revealed that even under President Rodrigo Duterte, who is tough on the illegal drug trade, drug lords continued to operate from behind bars.