2 inmates die in Manila, Quezon City

Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two inmates died in Manila and Quezon City yesterday.

This brings to five the number of detainees who died in Manila in one week.

Russel Villamore, 53, serving time for illegal drug possession, died while being treated at the Ospital ng Maynila at around 3:45 a.m.

Villamore complained of difficulty in breathing while in the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 9’s detention facility at around noon on Tuesday, said Police Officer 3 Dennis Turla.

The doctor said Villamore had tuberculosis but his illness was aggravated by the extreme summer heat.

On Monday, two detainees from MPD Station 3, who were suffering from illness died at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center. 

Last May 24, two detainees – one from Station 3 and the other from Station 4 – died of heat stroke. 

Congested jails 

MPD spokesman Superintendent Erwin Margarejo said continued operations against illegal drugs and crimes have caused all of the MPD’s facilities to be crowded.

MPD Station 3 can only accommodate 40 detainees but have close to 100 inmates. 

MPD Station 4’s custodial center is only good for 12 persons but has 38 detainees.

Most of the deaths in the MPD’s facilities could be attributed to overcrowding, he said.

Margerejo said the station commanders were ordered to notify the courts in order to manifest that all the detention facilities in Manila are congested.

He said they would like to ask the courts if it is possible that they could have other custodial facilities other than the ones allowed by law. 

“There are more than 100 arrests in a day and the commitment orders issued by the court are nowhere that number,” Margarejo told The STAR.

More deaths

Another detainee of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) died yesterday, the second fatality this week.

Nino Cruz, 39, was being held at the QCPD Station 4 on charges of physical injury and unjust vexation.

He died at the Novaliches District Hospital, where he was rushed after he was seen gasping for breath in the detention cell.

On Tuesday, Jeffery Norio was declared dead on arrival after he was rushed to the hospital after struggling to breathe.

Norio, who was arrested for illegal gambling, only had an open wound on his right leg and no other external injuries.

Superintendent Carlito Grijaldo, QCPD Station 4 commander, said they are still waiting for the official cause of death.

At least 100 men are cramped into the QCPD Station 4’s detention facility. – Romina Cabrera

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