Super-maximum compound in NBP being readied
MANILA (UPDATED) - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has relieved 2 doctors working in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) for giving a questionable medical referral to a high-profile inmate.
In an interview with ANC, Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan said the health concern of drug convict Ricardo Camata was only for a “medical consultation.”
Instead, Camata was given the go-signal to proceed to the Metropolitan Hospital Manila, which is 2 hours away from the NBP, Baraan said.
“How can you say that it’s an emergency referral?”
The doctors are: Gloria Achazo-Garcia, acting hospital head of the NBP; and Ma. Cecilia Villanueva, an NBP medical specialist.
During his stay at the hospital, Camata met with actress Krista Miller last May 31. Miller said she merely followed up on her sales pitch to Camata.
CCTV footage also showed 2 other women who were not his relatives visiting Camata the following day, with one of them staying overnight.
Baraan said the head of the escort security, Gabriel Magan, has also been relieved.
Magan was already punished previously because of the disappearance of convict Rolito Go inside the NBP back in 2012.
These come on the heels of the earlier decision to sack NBP Superintendent Fajardo Lansangan and several others following news of Camata’s and other high-profile inmates' so-called medical furlough outside the NBP sans approval of the Department of Justice.
Baraan said a full-blown investigation is being readied to look into the systemic problems within the NBP.
“President Benigno Aquino III is really angry with what’s happening there. This should not happen again,” he said.
He said the investigation will be done by a panel created by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
He said “there seems to be toleration and conspiracy” within the NBP, which is why the problem of giving VIP treatments to several inmates never goes away.
“There’s a different culture there. There’s a prison subculture where the guards are dictated on by the prisoners, instead of vice-versa. They may be afraid, or there may be some familiarity,” Baraan said.
He also said the probe will look into the “physical set-up” within the NBP.
“It’s like a small community. They’re like in dormitories, instead of a prison. They even have a flea market. There, they can easily mingle with other prisoners,” he said.
He said a “super-maximum compound” is already being built inside, which is intended to isolate the hard-core convicts such as drug lords.
He believes this will not violate the rights of the prisoners. He said they will still be able to freely roam the vicinity of Building 14, where the “super-maximum compound” will be built.
“Their roaming will be scheduled so that they will not be allowed to mingle with other inmates. This is being done in Australia,” he said.