Control gate to replace controversial BuCor wall in Bilibid area


December 1, 2021 | 4:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections will remove the wall it put up on a road in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP)’s reservation, which sealed off a pathway for residents of Muntinlupa City, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday.

“The BuCor, after consultations with the [Department of Justice], will remove the road block off the Katarungan Villages as soon as a control gate, which was the original plan, has been put,” he told reporters.

Guevarra said the BuCor will install the control gate as soon as possible. “Once in place, they will remove the concrete barriers. But pedestrians can pass, I was so informed,” he added partly in Filipino.

Last week, BuCor built a wall along the NBP Road that cut the access of Katarungan Village Phase 1 and 2 residents to the city proper. Irate residents demolished it within hours.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi raised that the bureau did not seek a permit from city hall, while BuCor asserted that the the move was part of its mandate to ensure the security of the prison facility amid reports of illegal activities at the New Bilibid Prison camp.

The row also resulted in the Muntinlupa City Council declaring BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag persona non grata.

Guevarra said that BuCor would still block off “some interior access roads” for security purposes “but these will reportedly not affect any residential community so the BuCor may not find any need to inform the LGU.”

He explained that these access roads are found in the Bilibid compound itself and are being used by BuCor personnel only.

BuCor also constructed walls to close off Insular Prison Road, which leads to the Southville 3 government housing project, and a road to the residential community of Type B in March and June, respectively.

The city government opposed both projects. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Ralph Edwin Villanueva

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