'Female' detainee in PH jail turns out to be male

Report by Gus Abelgas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2014 05:47 PM | Updated as of Mar 08 2014 11:48 PM

MANILA - Police are investigating the case of a Chinese-Filipino criminal suspect who was jailed at the Malabon City Jail female dormitory for seven months but later turned out to be male.

Nicole Chai was arrested last June 2013 for illegal recruitment and large scale estafa. Chai was ordered by the court to stay at the Malabon City Jail female dormitory after identifying herself as female.

Last February 4, 2014, Chai died of a heart attack. It was only at the hospital that doctors discovered Nicole was actually a male.

Malabon warden Senior Inspector Marisa Provido said "Nicole" looked, dressed and acted female.

Police records also show Nicole declared herself as a female during the arrest.

The Pagamutan Bayan ng Malabon also indicated in its medical records that Chai was female. Doctors admitted that they only did a visual check on the suspect.

Provido said they placed Chai in the female dormitory based on her own gender declaration, police record and court record.

Police are taking a deeper probe on the case. It was later found out that Nicole's real name is Sibeng Chai Chua Jr., a Chinese-Filipino born in Marinduque.

Malabon jail authorities have launched an intervention program in which all incoming detainees should undergo physical check before admission.