4 NBP inmates die in 3 days
(The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Four inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) died in a span of three days, an official said yesterday.

Two of the inmates were returnees who surrendered after their release under the good conduct time allowance was revoked by the government.

NBP Hospital chief Henry Fabro said one returnee was taking a bath at around midnight on Nov. 14 when he collapsed and died.

The returnee’s body is undergoing autopsy, he added.

The other returnee, confined for acute myocardial infarction, community-acquired pneumonia and anemia at the NBP Hospital since Nov. 10, died at around 6 p.m. on Nov. 14, Fabro said.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesman Maj. Alberto Tapiru said that David Trinidad died on Nov. 15 due to Type 2 diabetes and Mario Dacuba Jr., 72, died yesterday morning. Both men were serving time for rape.

At least 29 NBP inmates died in the past month, BuCor records show.

The bureau’s operation to demolish illegal shanties at the maximum security compound was identified by some groups as the reason for the inmates’ deaths since the detainees had no place to sleep, an allegation that the BuCor denied.

Fabro told reporters last week that the mortality rate in the national penitentiary is in “critical” condition at 0.5 percent of the population, well above the world standard of 0.2 percent. 

He added that this is mainly due to the poorly equipped hospital and the lack of medical professionals, noting there are only 13 physicians attending to more than 47,000 prisoners across the BuCor’s seven penal colonies.

Fabro asked for help from the Department of Health to address the issue.

Meanwhile, Kapatid group spokesman Fides Lim said the high mortality rate could be tied to the alleged human rights violations inside the prison. 

Lim called on the BuCor to ensure a constant supply of electricity and clean water at the NBP and allow humanitarian groups to stage medical missions.

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