Hospital chief: 5,200 inmates die in Bilibid every year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 3, 2019   •   1169

Inmates listen during a peace accord event to stop violence amongst gangs inside the New ‘Bilibid’ Prison’s maximum security compound in Muntinlupa city, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 December 2018. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Around 5,200 inmates in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) die every year due to overcrowding, according to NBP Hospital Director Ernesto Tamayo on Thursday (October 3).

During the Senate hearing on the irregularity in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Tamayo said that it constitutes 20% of the total population at the NBP.

He added that pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) is the most common health issue among inmates.

“Because of the overcrowding sir minsan, hindi natin ma-contain iyong PTB (Sometimes we cannot contain the PTB),” he said.

According to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde, there are also other facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) that are overcrowded.

“Dahil overcrowded ito since the war on drugs noon. Doon sa NCRPO talagang massive. Instead of 60 iyong dapat sa loob umaabot po ng 200 kaya marami po ang namamatay (It has been overcrowded since the launch of the war on drugs. The [crowd] is really massive at the NCRPO. Instead of around 60 inmates, it is accommodating 200 inmates, that is why a lot are dying),” according to Albayalde.

A Bilibid inmate, Godfrey Gamboa, has revealed in the Senate that some inmates have died due to eating spoiled food.

“Marami po, puro panis ang pagkain (Most of the food are already spoiled),” Gamboa said.

Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros recommended to the Senate Committee the revocation of NBP Medical Officer Dr. Ursicio Cenas’ license due to his alleged involvement in the ‘hospital pass for sale’ anomaly.—AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Senate to probe massive flooding in Luzon after recent typhoons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A resolution that seeks to probe the “confluence of factors” that led to the massive flooding in Luzon after the recent typhoons has been filed in the Senate.

Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr., the author of the resolution, said the release of water from dams due to overcapacity should have been anticipated and measures should have been done in order to prevent the released water from reaching the homes of the citizens.

“We must anticipate that the dams will release water, so dapat may mga naka in-place na infrastruktura tulad ng dadaluyan ng tubig at sasalo nito, para huwag rumagasa at manalanta ng mga kabahayan, (there should have been infrastructures in-place which can direct the waterflow away from residential areas),” he said.

In a span of three weeks, five typhoons entered the Philippines which has greatly affected low-lying areas in Luzon. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) reported Typhoon Ulysses has displaced a total of 1,755,224 persons which is an equivalent of 428,657 families in 4,543 barangays in the affected areas.

Revilla hopes to aid in the legislation of necessary actions to prevent similar disasters from happening in the future. AAC

New Bilibid Prison riot death toll climbs to 4

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of inmates who perished in a riot that erupted Monday at the New Bilibid Prison’s maximum security compound has climbed to four, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said.

BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaklag said 20 other persons deprived of liberty (PDL) injured in the brawl are still undergoing medical treatment.

The bureau initially confirmed three fatalities and 64 wounded inmates in the incidence of violence that broke out Monday morning between the Sigue-Sigue Sputnik and Commando gangs.

The incident occurred exactly one month after a riot erupted inside the NBP maximum security compound that left nine inmates dead and several others injured.

Chaklag said inmates are currently not allowed to leave their cells as part of the disciplinary action imposed by the bureau following the incident.

“Binigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon dati, ano. Although mga kriminal yun, tinrato natin sila bilang tao at napakalaking bagay yun. Pinakinggan sila ng Chief for humanitarian reason, pagkakataon na ipagkasundo nila yung mga nag-aaway-away na miyembro pero ganun pa rin ang nangyari despite that,” he said.

“So medyo drastic ang actions natin ngayon, yung mga disciplinary action ang ibig nating sabihn,” he added.

Chaklag assured that the situation is now under control and that the NBP is back to normal operations. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mac Cordova)

DOJ orders probe into latest Bilibid riot

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he has ordered an investigation into the latest riot incident that erupted between gangs within the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) maximum security compound.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said he already directed the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a separate probe or expand its ongoing investigation into the previous violence.

He also ordered the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to submit a detailed report on the incident as soon as possible.

The latest incidence of violence transpired in the NBP compound on Monday morning.

Three inmates were confirmed dead while 64 others were injured in the brawl that erupted at 8:39 a.m.

Based on the initial investigation, the BuCor said the incident was between members of Sigue-Sigue Sputnik and Sigue-Sigue Commando gangs.

The riot was contained around 10 a.m., the BuCor said, adding that its personnel is in the process of clearing the area.

The incident occurred exactly one month after a riot between members of the rival Sputnik and Commando gangs erupted inside the NBP maximum security compound that left nine inmates dead and several others injured.

Guevarra said part of the investigation would be looking into the possible negligence of BuCor officials.

“These BuCor officials should have learned their lesson from the previous violent incident where several PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) were killed,” he said.

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