Bilibid caterer: Don’t blame us for diarrhea outbreak
The current food supplier for the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) maintained that it was not to blame for the diarrhea outbreak that hit more than 900 inmates over the weekend, as it urged authorities to test the water supply at the national penitentiary for possible contamination.
According to Mang Kiko Catering Services Inc., it has been feeding NBP prisoners for 11 years without any incident of food poisoning.
“Speculations that the cause is food poisoning is very premature and baseless. It is not possible that the food served by Mang Kiko caused the diarrhea outbreak,” Alvin Navarro, the catering company’s lawyer, said in a statement.
Instead, he called on the Department of Health (DOH) and Muntinlupa City health officials to immediately inspect and test the water supply at NBP.
“Contaminated water is the likely cause of the diarrhea outbreak. Mang Kiko is not the supplier of the water. For the past years, Mang Kiko has actually been warning officials of the Bureau of Corrections about the unsafe drinking water of the inmates. We have documentation to prove this,” Navarro said.
“In fact, Mang Kiko secured a different water source for its kitchen to ensure that its food preparations will not be contaminated and the water supply of Mang Kiko is regularly subjected to lab testing and is equipped with a chlorinator,” he added. “We appeal to the officers of the BuCor as well as to the Honorable Secretary of Justice to avoid prejudging Mang Kiko as the ‘proximate cause’ of the outbreak.”
“We welcome a thorough investigation of the matter in order that the real facts may arise. We have nothing to gain as the longstanding caterer of the NBP to introduce substandard food or even deliberately poison the food that is being served to our prisoners,” he added, stressing that the company had consistently adhered to the strictest food quality standards. —JEROME ANING
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