• A PNP official said the SAF could not be permanently detailed at the NBP
  • SAF troopers can only be assigned at the prison facility for two months at the most
  • The elite cops will temporarily take over the posts of jail guards who will undergo months of re-training

The Special Action Force (SAF), the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP), could not be permanently deployed to secure the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, according to a PNP official.

PNP Deputy Chief for operations Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino revealed that SAF commandos can only be detailed at the corruption-ridden national penitentiary for two months at the most.

“Definitely SAF police officers will not be the permanent guards at the prison,” Constantino was quoted in a Philstar article as saying.

Incoming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has requested the deployment of SAF troopers to man the prison facility temporarily replacing NBP jail guards who will be are subjected to re-training and re-education.

Aguirre said he had coordinated with incoming PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa regarding the deployment of a least 1,000 SAF troopers during the initial stage of the campaign to stop the convicted drug kingpins from running their illegal drug business from inside the penitentiary.

NBP jail guards are suspected of receiving bribes from the convicted drug lords to turn a blind eye on their illegal activities. Aguirre said that in the absence of direct evidence linking the jail guards in the irregularities inside the NBP, they will have to be re-trained and re-educated.

“All the jail guards, employees (image) are tainted, so if there is no evidence to file criminal cases against them, there should at least be a re-education, re-training,” the soon-to-be Justice Secretary said.

Director Moro Virgilio Lazo, SAF chief, said they will wait for instructions from their superiors regarding their NBP assignment.