'Bilibid 19' to move back to New Bilibid Prison

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The renovated Building 14 will house high-risk inmates linked to illegal drug trade.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — High-profile inmates collectively known as the "Bilibid 19," will soon be transferred back to the New Bilibid Prison after temporarily being held at the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) headquarters in Manila.

They will be detained at the newly-renovated Building 14. Part of the building used to house deathrow convicts when the country still had the death sentence. It now has 29 cells and can house up to 58 inmates.

The building was converted into a high security facility, in order to house high-risk inmates linked to illegal drug trade.

The transfer will begin in the next few days, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told CNN Philippines on Wednesday (July 15).

De Lima explained that inmates housed in Building 14 will be closely watched to prevent them from continuing with their illegal drug trade.

"[W]hat did we find out in the course of the follow-up investigations?" the Justice secretary remarked.

"That some of these drug inmates continue to plan their trade, their drug trade even while they are in confinement. So we do not want that to continue, we do not want this same situation [to] prevail."

Equipment like closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in the building. Jammers were also placed to ensure the strict implementation of the no communication device rule.

Aside from these, De Lima said the Justice department will make sure that the "right people, the right jail guards, [and] the right supervisors" will be assigned in the building.

Two inmates will be housed in each cell, which measures about eight square meters.

The "Bilibid 19" was transferred at the NBI headquarters after a raid in December last year revealed drugs, cash and luxury items inside the areas or "kubols" of the convicted drug lords.

CNN Philippines' AC Nicholls contributed to this report.