Ashfall reaches Bilibid; inmates safe
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Inmates of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City are safe as ashfall from Taal Volcano reached the NBP following Sunday’s eruption, an official of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said yesterday.   

In a report to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, BuCor chief Gerald Bantag said former inmates who have returned to the national penitentiary are safely sheltered in a covered court.

“Like other places in Metro Manila, the NBP also experienced ashfall, but it was minimal and manageable. The situation is OK,” Bantag said. “The returnees have enough beddings, moquito nets and blankets.”

Bantag said there were no reports of health-related problems among the inmates.

He said he ordered prison wardens and staff to be on standby around the clock to ensure the safety of the inmates.

“They are housed inside the compound to protect them from ashfall. Local hospitals may provide medical attention during emergencies,” Bantag said.

The BuCor chief said they have cleared Bilibid of ash plume.

Around 28,642 prisoners are held at the 254-hectare NBP, according to BuCor records as of November last year.

The number includes 410 returnees who were released on good conduct time allowance. But they surrended upon President Duterte’s directive following a change in the interpretation of the GCTA provision.

The national penitentiary can accommodate only 6,435 inmates.

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