MANILA – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Saturday dismissed a report that dead bodies were piling up inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City as the country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hindi naman po totoo ‘yon. Tayo naman po ay prepared sa response kapag may remains ng PDL [person deprived of liberty] na namatay sa NBP,” BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag told ANC.
(That's not true. We are prepared for response when there's a prisoner who dies at NBP.)
“’Yong sinasabi nilang piling up of bodies, hindi nangyari
‘yon. May hindi nakuha na remains dahil nagkaroon ng problema sa paperworks,” he added.
(The report that there's a piling up of bodies, that did not happen. There was a body that was not claimed because of a problem in paperwork.)
An inmate at the state penitentiary recently died from COVID-19. The inmate was admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on April 17 but succumbed to the disease on April 23.
A report from news website Rappler showed that a “high number” of deaths were reported inside NBP from March 4 to April 24, but their causes of death have not been released.
Chaclag said BuCor had not recorded a spike in deaths inside the NBP in the last 6 months.
The daily death rate inside the penitentiary is at least 2, he said.
“Dapat ang isinali sa report ay mula nung October para makita ang discrepancy, mayroong comparative point,” he said.
(They should have included figures from October in the report to see the discrepancy, there's a comparative report.)
“Kung mayroon mang magbago sa ating statistics, makakaasa po kayo na ilalabas iyon. Walang dahilan na hindi natin ilabas,” he added.
(If our statistics change, you can rest assured we will release that. There is no reason for us not to.)
Chaclag said they are currently monitoring 27 inmates for COVID-19 inside the quarantine area of the NBP. The inmates came from the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City.
Two inmates from CIW have died from COVID-19. The first inmate, 72, died on April 27, while the second inmate passed away on April 21.