Drugs, guns, grenades in NBP: Inmate tries to set self on fire

Report by Anthony Taberna, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2014 07:43 PM | Updated as of Jan 09 2014 10:44 AM

MANILA - An inmate who tried to set himself on fire, and a grenade blast at a mosque. These are just some of the alleged goings-on inside the maximum security facility of New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

On Tuesday, an inmate identified as Jeremy Mabana was rushed to the NBP hospital after allegedly trying to set his cell, and himself, on fire.

A source told ABS-CBN News said Mabana started the fire while he was high on shabu.

Mabana, a former "mayor" of a gang inside the maximum security compound, sustained burns due to the fire.

The NBP said Mabana set fire to his pillow but the fire did not spread after authorities put the blaze out.

Officials said they are investigating if the inmate tried to kill himself or if an enemy tried to kill him.

NBP Officer-in-Charge Celso Bravo admitted that narcotics are sometimes slipped into the prison but denied that Mabana was high on drugs during the fire.

He said Mabana was coherent during questioning after the incident.

Bravo also confirmed that an explosion hit a mosque inside the prison on New Year's Eve, injuring several prisoners. He, however, denied that the blast was caused by a grenade.

"Kung talagang granada, baka yung buong yero ay natanggal o natuklap," he said.

A search inside the prison yielded several banned items including cellphones. Some of the prison gangs also surrendered guns.

"We are very, very alarmed lalo na yung grenade. We are very alarmed. That's why several actions are going on," said Bureau of Corrections Director Franklin Bucayu.

He added that prison officials are still investigating how these items were allowed inside the prison. He said some officials could lose their jobs because of the entry of the illegal items.

"'Yan ay nakapasok thru the entry and exit point access. Pinag-iisipan natin maaaring nakapasok through visitors, support services yung nagdedeliver ng supply at maaari rin sa unscrupulous personnel," he said.