Bilibid mess proof of a do-nothing gov’t
If I were the president of the Philippines, I would not just be alarmed with the guns found in the possession of “very important prisoners” under government custody at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. I will be outraged, nay, go “berserk” upon knowing that the reforms supposedly put in place since 2011 following an earlier scandal at the NBP has been made a “big joke.”
I will apologize to the Filipino people for my administration’s failure to address the serious problems at the NBP after four years and six months of my presidency. As chief executive, I will fire my communications secretary for saying that the “problem cannot be solved overnight” and for blaming the past administrations for the problems.
For starters, I will fire the Bureau of Corrections chief, Franklin Bucayu, by the principle of command responsibility, together with the chief of the NBP. They can explain later. If it is not their fault, then whose fault is it that the problems persist to this day? The low-salaried prison guards? But we all have known this since 25 years ago, when Corazon C. Aquino was still president of the Philippines. Now the justice secretary in her son’s administration is still invoking the same thing.
In the last years of Gloria Arroyo’s presidency, there was a plan to transfer the NBP in Muntinlupa to Tanay, Rizal. However, nothing has been heard of it since Ms Aquino’s son assumed the presidency in the second half of 2010. It is only now, four years later, that the public gets to read and hear about the plan to build a New Bilibid Prison in Laur, Nueva Ecija.
If only the Aquino presidency had started constructing the new penitentiary in January 2012, the project could have been completed by now. Unfortunately, what the Philippines has right now is a “do-nothing government ” under Cory’s son. But what can we expect? The Aquino administration cannot even finish the four-kilometer road linking the South Luzon Expressway to Daang-Hari in Muntinlupa City beside the National Bilibid Prison.
—R. B. RAMOS,
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