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'Oplan Galugad' yields more contraband

Agents of the Bureau of Corrections inspect bladed weapons, shotgun ammunition and other contraband seized during a raid at the New Bilibid Prison. Philstar.com/File photo    

MANILA, Philippines - Several appliances, electronic gadgets, knives and shotgun ammunition were seized by agents of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in the latest “Oplan Galugad” raid at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City Wednesday morning.

NBP Superintendent Richard Schwartzkopf said the raid started at 5 a.m. and ended at 9:30 a.m.

Subjects of the 6th “Oplan Galugad” raid were Building 4 and Building 13. Building 4 houses members of the Batang City Jail gang while Building 13 houses members of the Batang Cebu gang.

Also seized during the raid were several “sumpaks” or improvised shotguns, a refrigerator and assorted bladed weapons.

Earlier, the NBP said it plans to raise the walls of prison higher to thwart the entry of contraband from the outside.

NBP spokesman Msgr. Roberto “Bobby” Olaguer, the project would have to depend on the prison’s budget.

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“Pending available budget,” said Olaguer.

“(The walls) should be high enough to prevent escape and prevent contraband from being thrown over the fence,” added Olaguer.

In its recent series of surprise raids on the prison’s dormitories under “Oplan Galugad,” prison authorities have managed to confiscate several contrabands including guns, explosives, liquor, mobile phones, a radio-controlled toy helicopter, sex toys and television sets.

Olaguer said the surprise searches of the different NBP dormitories for contraband items, is a regular activity of the BuCor to complement the random frisking of inmates.

An “Oplan Galugad” search last November 11 of several dormitories at the NBP’s maximum security compound yielded television sets, refrigerators, bladed weapons, cell phones and other contraband.

BuCor Director Ricardo Rainier Cruz III had earlier ordered the continuing surprise searches to confiscate weapons and other illegal items that are being smuggled into the prison.

A previous surprise search done earlier this month at the dormitory of Commando and Sigue-Sigue Sputnik gangs led to the seizure of a large cache of firearms that was found buried in one of the detention cells.

The prison guards also seized cell phones, television sets, air conditioning units and even sex toys from the cells during the search.

More than 50 high-value inmates that include convicted drug lords and murderers are detained in the prison. At least 14,000 convicts are detained in the nine-hectare NBP compound.

Meanwhile, Olaguer said the series of surprise raids on the prison dormitories could have contributed to a significant decrease in the prison’s electricity consumption.

According to Olaguer, a study made following the series of recent raids and confiscation of various contrabands from the inmates, including electrical appliances, showed that the prison’s electrical consumption dropped by some 10 percent in the last three weeks.

“For sure, hindi tumaas ang bill namin,” said Olaguer.

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