The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) will not reopen the access road they had blockaded last month, which connected Southville 3 in the New Bilibid Prison Reservation to the rest of Muntinlupa city.
In a Facebook post, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon said that he had met with Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and BuCor chief Gerald Bantag to discuss the matter.
“Bantag strongly insisted on his position that the opening of roads inside the NBP reservation would not be allowed,” he announced.
No resolution was arrived at in the meeting, but it was agreed that the justice department and BuCor would tackle the issue internally.
Last March 20, the BuCor built a concrete wall along Insular Prison Road, one of the main roads linking Southville 3 to and from Poblacion proper and the city proper, essentially trapping residents of Southville 3, a National Housing Authority project in Brgy. Poblacion.
The day before, Poblacion barangay chair Allen Ampaya received a letter from Gabriel Chaclag, the prisons agency’s assistant secretary, which contained their intention to shutter all paths leading to NHA-Southville 3 as well as the route fronting Tower 8 which leads to NBP’s minimum security compound.
The road would only be accessible to BuCor personnel and government officials with business inside the reservation, they had said. The closure would be effective from March 20 “until further notice.”
Biazon was one with residents in decrying the BuCor’s sudden move, calling the wall “illegal.”
“[It] is a nuisance as defined by Article 694 of the Civil Code as it obstructs and interferes with the free passage of a public highway or street,” he said. “What BuCor claims is that there are people from [Southville] who are using these roads to do crimes [inside the NBP Reservation].
Muntinlupa mayor Jaime Fresnedi previously appealed the BuCor director general to rethink what seemed to be a permanent closure of Insular Road. Doing so would force residents to pass San Pedro City, Laguna, or Las Pinas to enter Muntinlupa.
“The national government surely did not intend to have a community whose people are geographically severed from its own city,” Fresnedi pointed out.
To BuCor, the mayor said: “It would have been better if you accorded us a little courtesy by giving the city government and affected residents notice of your plan to close down the road so that all parties would hear their sides and come up with a viable solution our respective problems and issues.”