17 of 'Bilibid 19' inmates back in NBP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2015 11:10 AM | Updated as of Aug 02 2015 06:00 AM

MANILA - Seventeen of the so-called "Bilibid 19" inmates are now back in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa.

The high-profile convicts had been detained in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila in the past seven months following the discovery of several contraband items in their cells.

The 17 inmates, escorted by elements of the NBI, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), left the NBI headquarters early morning on Saturday.

The inmates were: Peter Co, Amin Imam Boratong, Michael Ong, Willy Sy, Noel Martinez, Eugene Chua, Chua Sam Li, Vincent Sy, Joel Capones, Herbert Colangco, Clarence Dongail, Tom Chua, Rommel Capones, Jojo Baligad, Willy Chua, Jacky King Sy, and Benjamin Marcelo.

The inmates were brought to the prison facility's new Building 14, which has intensified security, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

De Lima said she and BuCor chief Ricardo Ranier Cruz III personally chose the guards of the building. Several closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for surveillance were also installed in the new building.

They have also tightened rules on visitation, Cruz added.

According to Cruz, each of the 29 cells in the new building can accommodate two inmates. He said some of the "Bilibid 19" inmates will have to share a cell.

Meanwhile, one of the 19 convicts, German Ajojo, remains confined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) after suffering a stroke in July.

Another drug convict, George Sy, died of colon cancer early last month. -- Report from Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News