outbrain
Close  

House probe on deaths of big-name Bilibid inmates due to coronavirus sought

/ 06:03 PM July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker on Tuesday called for a congressional inquiry to shed light on the deaths of high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City allegedly due to COVID-19.

In a statement,  ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Niña Taduran appealed for transparency as she lamented how the government was “kept in the dark” over the deaths of the inmates inside the national penitentiary.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed that nine high-profile NBP inmates died of COVID-19, including Jaybee Sebastian, a convicted kidnapper and car thief who served as a witness and co-accused in one of the drug charges against opposition Senator Leila de Lima.

“All avenues must be explored in the interest of transparency – we have been kept in the dark until a newspaper reported Jaybee Sebastian’s death and cremation,” Taduran said.

FEATURED STORIES

“In this special case, witnesses should be called to be present at the cremation including a relative of the victim. There should be a protocol to prove the death of an inmate,” Taduran added.

The neophyte lawmaker also argued that the Data Privacy Act cannot be cited in the non-disclosure of the details regarding the deaths of inmates contrary to the assertion of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag, who refused to publicize the names of the inmates who allegedly died of COVID-19 citing the Data Privacy Act, which protects persons from unauthorized processing of their personal information.

“It is a matter of national interest that’s why we are calling for transparency. The concerned agencies must present fool-proof evidence regarding the death of a high profile inmate and others,” Taduran said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier warned that the lack of transparency on the part of BuCor is “dangerous” and “prone to different kinds of abuses.”  —with a report from Jim Mendoza, trainee

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ACT-CIS, Bilibid, Congress, COVID-19, House probe, Jaybee Sebastian, NBP, Philippines
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.