Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Wednesday claimed that an inmate has accepted a P50-million contract to assassinate him.
Aguirre made the claim during his visit at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to personally witness the deployment of more than 100 members of the police's elite Special Action Force.
The justice secretary said the P50-million reward was raised by the country's drug lords detained at the infamous Building 14 in the NBP compound.
Top drug lords, including Peter Co and Herbert Colangco, are detained in Building 14.
Aguirre said that an inmate, also detained in the same building, has accepted the kill contract.
He said that the information about the kill contract against him is "A1."
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa had also claimed that top drug lords at the NBP have raised a P50-million reward for his and President Rodrigo Duterte's assassination.
The kill contract was allegedly offered by the drug lords due to Duterte's declaration of a nationwide war against drugs.
Building 14 search
During his visit at the NBP, Aguirre ordered all inmates at the Building 14 temporarily transferred to two buses as the police's elite force search the facility for illegal items, especially cellular phones.
Aguirre said they want to ultimately cut the drug lords' communication lines with their people outside the NBP.
They believe that the detained drug lords are managing their illegal operations from inside Building 14 by mobile phone.
Meanwhile, the more than 100 SAF members will secure "critical" facilities, including Building 14, within the NBP.
They will be deployed to the critical facilities in batches with the regular prison guards.
Aguirre said that after a certain period, the critical facilities at the NBP will be secured by purely SAF members.
He said that two more batches of SAF members, who are still undergoing training in jail security, will be deployed to the NBP.
He also said that there was a plan to replace the SAF members with members of the Philippine Marines to avoid the policemen's "familiarization" with high-profile inmates.
Marine Maj. Gen. Alexander Balutan, who is retiring early from the military service, is expected to serve as head of the Bureau of Corrections. Balutan earlier said he will reshuffle jail superintendents nationwide once he assumes the position on August 1.
Balutan is replacing retired Army general Ricardo Rainier Cruz III. —report from Jun Veneracion/ALG/RSJ, GMA News