Respiratory problems threaten PDLs inside Bilibid

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019   •   541

MANILA, Philippines – The maximum compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) has been a home to around 500 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who are now suffering from symptoms of tuberculosis.

Thus, the International Committee of the Red Cross held a medical mission to check on their conditions.

According to NBP Chief Doctor Henry Fabro, most PDLs are showing signs of tuberculosis and pneumonia which need immediate attention.

“Marami ang may sakit sa baga, TB at pneumonia (Many are contracting respiratory problems like TB and pneumonia),” Fabro said.

“Sinusundan iyan ng sakit sa puso, high blood pressure, sakit sa bato na dina-dialysis natin (Some have heart ailments, high blood pressure, kidney problems who are undergoing dialysis procedure),” he added.

There are around 28,000 PDL inside the NBP and 18,000 of them are inside the maximum compound.

Jail administrators said it is inevitable for them to contract such diseases because of their number inside the facility.

“With that population and with the limited space siempre nagkakahawahan iyan (it’s inevitable for them to be infected as well),” explained NBP Chief PIO Col. Gabriel Chaklag.

“May mga infectious diseases and at the same time some of our PDL are senior citizens so just imagine ang susceptibility nila sa other diseases (Many have infectious diseases and, at the same time, some of our PDLs are senior citizens so imagine their susceptibility to other diseases),” he added.

At present, there are over 160 patients confined inside the NBP hospital suffering from respiratory problems.

The inmates expressed gratitude to the management of the NBP and the assistance of non-government organizations in addressing their medical needs.

“Nagagamot naman din nila. Pero sobrang dami talaga dito ang nagkakasakit (They are able to treat them. But a lot had been really sickly),” said one of the inmates.

“Kaya nagpapasalamat po kami na mayroong mga ganyang x-ray (We’re thankful that, at least, we can avail of x-ray services),” he added.

However, the NBP management still lacks physicians to attend to all the medical conditions of the inmates.

At present, the facility only has six doctors in rotation.

The facility also needs additional equipment like x-rays and ECG machines. – MNP (with inputs from Sherwin Culubong)

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)

Three dead, 64 hurt in latest New Bilibid Prison riot – BuCor

Robie de Guzman   •   November 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three persons were killed and 64 others were injured in the latest riot that erupted within the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) maximum security compound, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said Monday.

The BuCor said the three persons deprived of liberty (PDL) were declared dead on arrival at the NBP Hospital while six of the 64 wounded persons were referred to the Ospital ng Muntinlupa for medical attention.

The bureau earlier reported that a “free for all scuffle” transpired inside the Bilibid compound at 8:39 a.m.

Members of the Corrections bureau, Philippine National Police’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Special Action Force (SAF), and the Bureau of Fire Protection have been deployed to contain the situation.

The BuCor said some members of the operating team sustained minor injuries while suppressing the commotion.

Initial investigation showed that the incident was between Sigue-Sigue Sputnik and Sigue-Sigue Commando gangs.

No further details were provided as of this writing.

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

The bureau assured that the situation is now under control and that the NBP is back to normal operations.

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.

The Department of Justice said it has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the incident or expand its probe on the previous riot.

81,888 PDLs released during COVID-19 pandemic — SC

Marje Pelayo   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has noted the use of technology, specifically video conferencing, in expediting the cases of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) even amidst the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

During Friday’s (October 23) ‘CJ Meets the Press’ briefing, Peralta reported that from March to October this year, a total of 81,888 PDLs had their cases resolved and been granted freedom.

The Chief Justice added that the majority of the more than 110,000 cases that they have deliberated on virtually were criminal cases.

The proceedings yielded 88% success rate and only 12% failed due to poor or intermittent Internet connection.

According to CJ Peralta, several PDLs were granted a reduced bail, particularly the indigent ones, to qualify for release while reading of sentence to minors was temporarily suspended.

“Napag-aralan namin na kakaunti lang makapag apply ng bail dahil karamihan dito ay mga indigent,” Peralta explained.

The decision to expedite the release of PDLs was to decongest jail facilities across the country where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high.

Because at that time we felt na yung COVID-19 ay nag-i-spread na sa mga jails, not only in BJMP jails but also in provincial jails, municipal jails and detention centers ng ating mga pulis,” the official noted.

Of more than 28,000 employees of the Judiciary, 252 contracted COVID-19 which is only 1% of the government branch’s total employee population.

Meanwhile, Peralta said the Supreme Court is now looking into the delays in the processing of cases of more than 1,700 detained quarantine violators.

The Chief Justice stressed these violators shouldn’t stay long in detention as they can be released by just paying a penalty or fine. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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