The entire staffs of the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) from the chief down to the prison guards serve two bosses: the government, and the convicted VIP felons. As the BuCor’s personnel serve two masters, like a saw tooth that cut forward and backward, this allowed the underground economy flourished in the NBP.
Shabu making and its distribution thrive and raking good money. Killer for Hire is an in-demand racket. Gun running, too. When the entertainment groups from the outside do a show, prostitution, trade comes into picture. Contraband of any kind can freely come in and out. Inmates and visitors alike find the NBP a conducive place to trade goods and services.
The NBP is a virtual marketplace. Yet the government gets no taxes from these illicit industries. Worse, the government, which provides the facility, appears to be aiding or condoning the existence of this underground economy.
Many people consider convicted felons as dregs of society. As such, many dismissed them as people in the lowest of the low, and they deserve no attention. The government has more pressing priorities than be concerned with the prisoner’s growing population. As the government turns a blind eye in resolving decongestion, host of deeper problems attributable to overcrowding multiplied, which includes maintaining the security and order. The prevailing perceptions – that the more hellish place the NBP becomes the better. Because then, it would serve as a deterrent to commit crime. Could the government hang onto this rationale justifying the neglect and delay to improve the Philippine’s penitentiary system?
When the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) raided the NBP, the raiders, were aghast to find that the quarter or “kubul” of the convicted drug lord looks like a first class hotel room lavished with amenities of comfortable living. That is contrary to the hellish place they thought of before. In addition, the raiders saw evidences of a live and kicking illicit underground economy.
Two reasons why the illicit underground economy of the NBI spawns and grow to become a mafia like kingdom. The government doesn’t give a damn once the convicted felons were booked in. Consequently, the entire BuCor personnel, to supplement their small income coming from the government were lured by the big money given by the drug lord. In return, the drug lords can do their nefarious activities in the reformatory institution under the BuCor noses.
For now, the Bilibid crackdown killed its underground economy. Nevertheless, who knows what would happen next when the issue get cold. If the government dilly-dally more implementing the improvement that is sorely needed, one day they will wake up that this underground economy is up and running again.