NBI files murder raps vs 22 cops for death of Bilibid inmates
UPDATED. MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed murder charges against 22 police officers for the death of 8 New Bilibid Prison inmates (NBP) inmates.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin confirmed in a text message that the 22 are from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) assigned to the Bureau of Corrections at the time of the inmates’ death.
NBI investigation showed that COVID-19 may have used as a cover for the deaths of the inmates.
The complaint was filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The NBI conducted an investigation upon orders of the DOJ on July 2020 following the death of high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
However, BuCor has refused to give details and disclose identities of the inmates citing the Data Privacy Act.
Then Senate President Vicente Sotto III quoting an unnamed police official said there is no more way of knowing if BuCor replaced the body of the inmate as there were no more finger prints.
Then, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the Data Privacy Act could not be used as a reason for not disclosing the deaths of inmates citing transparency to prevent abuses such as fake or simulated deaths.
From May to July 2020, nine inmates from Bilibid’s Maximum Security Compound and Building 14 died of COVID-19 including Sebastian.
Aside from Sebastian, among the inmates who died from May to July 2020 include the convicted shabu tiangge operator Amin Imam Boratong. There are two other Filipino inmates and five Chinese nationals.
At the height of the pandemic, BuCor has put up Site Harry, a quarantine facility set up with the assistance of the Department of Health and the International Committee of the Red Cross inside the national penitentiary to serve as an isolation site for inmates and jail personnel who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.