METRO Manila police Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said the 14 mobile phones confiscated from 14 cops previously assigned to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) were found to be for personal use of the cops and not meant to be sold to inmates.
In an interview over dzMM on Saturday night, Sinas said forensic examination conducted by the Anti-Cyber Group showed that the phones only contained conversations with families and friends of the 14 cops.
“Lahat ng cellphones ay may conversation sa pamilya nila, meaning personal use talaga nila. Ang binabantayan namin ay kung ang cellphone ay walang laman (na conversation sa pamilya) at saka kung bago ang SIM card, may duda ‘yun (All the cellphones had conversations with their families, meaning they were really for personal use. What we are looking for is if the cellphones had no conversations with their families and if they have new SIM cards which is very doubtful),” Sinas said.
Sinas said the NCRPO investigating team has included two more cops to the 16 police officers who are under investigation for supposedly trying to smuggle contraband items inside the maximum security compound of the NBP.
Last October 18, a total of 16 cops were placed under investigation after security officers confiscated14 mobile phones, alcoholic drinks disguised as bottled iced tea drinks, and three packs of cigarettes from police officers who were entering the maximum security compound.
Fourteen of the 16 cops surrendered their phones to the Special Action Force team while they were on formation at the final screening area, telling the guards that they forgot to leave their phones at the initial screening area as they were already rushing since they were already late for work.
Sinas said the two cops were added to the list of those under investigation after they were identified by their colleagues as the ones who ordered them to bring the alcoholic drinks and three packs of cigarettes.
Sinas said the investigation is now focused on the four cops – the two who were caught with the contraband items, and the two cops who allegedly ordered them to smuggle these inside the NBP’s maximum security compound.
Sinas said the 14 other cops are not yet totally off the hook. “Yung 14 inaantay pa ‘yung final assessment ng imbestigador pero sabi, ‘Sir, most likely icha-charge pa rin pero hindi na ganon ka bigat’ (I am just awaiting the final assessment of the investigator who told me ‘Sir, we will still most likely charge them but the charges will not be as grave compared to the four’),” he said.
Sinas said the 500 police contingent forces at the NBP will be replaced this week with men from the NCRPO’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion so that the cops can go back to their normal law enforcement functions at the different police districts of Metro Manila where they were plucked.
He said the members of the RMFB will come from the NCRPO headquarters and will be transported to the NBP in batches.