THE Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has restored the visitation privileges for inmates at the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa.
BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag on Oct. 9 suspended the visitation privileges when they started the demolition of illegal structures, including shanties, which were set up and used by inmates.
Bantag said some of these structures were used for illegal activities.
The maximum security compound houses high-profile inmates, including those convicted of drug trafficking and other heinous crimes.
BuCor spokeswoman Wena Fe Dalagan said that to accommodate all visitors, the visitation schedule will be implemented per quadrant.
Quadrants 1 and 3 will accept visitors every Wednesday and Saturday, while Quadrants 2 and 4 will be open on Thursdays and Sundays.
“No visitations allowed during Mondays and Tuesdays,” Dalagan said.
All visitors will be subjected to body frisking and strip searching if necessary. Bags and belongings will be inspected before entering the national penitentiary.
Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete said the suspension of the visiting privileges was meant to ensure the safety and security of the inmates and their visitors while the clearing operations were ongoing.
Families and loved ones of inmates have since been concerned over reported deaths of inmates in the NBP, complaining that they cannot even send maintenance medicine for the sick and elderly.
But Perete denied reports that inmates died because of lack of medicines or medical attention, adding that the BuCor has enough supplies.
“May mga ganung allegations na may namamatay dahil walang medicines pero di naman ito totoo (There were allegations that a number of inmates died due to lack of medicines but these are not true). I also did not receive any complaints of brutality during the demolition,” Perete said. – With Rod Lagusad