7 inmates die in Bilibid
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Seven inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City have died of illnesses in a span of four days due to alleged lack of medical attention at the national penitentiary.

One of the prisoners died in his sleep while confined at the NBP hospital, Maj. Alberto Tapiru, spokesman for the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), said yesterday.

Joselito Roxas died in the prison’s hospital on Oct. 9 when the BuCor started the demolition of kubols or illegal shelters at the maximum security compound.

Inmates Bobby Cosinero and Alfredo Tominez died the next day.

Three more prisoners – Ricardo Santos, 70; Nicomedes Cañon, 81, and Fernando Raynon – died on Oct. 12.

Another inmate, Nilo Rawa Bacay, 51, died on Oct. 13.

Tapiru confirmed the deaths of the prisoners, but maintained that these had nothing to do with the demolition of illegal structures in the NBP.

“They were previously confined in the NBP hospital,” he said.

Tapiru said more sick inmates remain confined in the prison’s hospital.

Doctors of the NBP hospital failed to report to work during the clearing operations last week.

The prison’s hospital officials had been accused of taking bribes and gifts from influential inmates in exchange for granting them extended stay at the NBP Hospital despite “looking strong.”

Authorities confiscated contraband such as drugs, sex toys, home appliances, cell phones and cash during the clearing operations at the maximum security compound of the national penitentiary.

On Friday, an explosion rocked the NBP’s Quadrant 4, which used to house convicted Abu Sayyaf and Maute group members.

No one was hurt in the blast caused by an improvised explosive device.

During a Senate hearing on Oct. 3, NBP hospital director Ernesto Tamayo told senators that around 20 percent of maximum security inmates die every year mostly due to overcrowding.

There are around 27,165 inmates at the maximum security area, which can only accommodate 6,435, for a congestion rate of 322 percent. 

Tamayo clarified that the figure was due to the spread of contagious diseases such as pulmonary tuberculosis in the overcrowded jail cells.

Apart from natural causes, he said deaths from stab wounds during riots were included in their data.

Shabu in bulalo

BuCor guards yesterday seized shabu stuffed in a pot of adobong bulalo from a visitor in Bilibid.

Police said the drugs were confiscated from Glen Moncado Dayrit.

Jail guards also recovered 14 sachets of shabu from inmate June Juville Fabres at the NBP’s medium security compound.


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