BuCor to bury 50 deceased Bilibid inmates Friday

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 21 2022 11:54 AM | Updated as of Nov 21 2022 03:12 PM

The New Bilibid Prison in this photo taken on Nov. 14, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
The New Bilibid Prison in this photo taken on Nov. 14, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Bureau of Corrections plans to bury the remains of 50 inmates who died inside the New Bilibid Prison, its officer-in-charge said Monday.

According to BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang, the agency will invite the relatives of the deceased inmates to the funeral.

"I intend to bury some of them this Friday and I'm inviting the relatives," he told ANC's "Headstart".

"I, too, want them to be buried. To give prayers or honor to them," he added.

This comes as an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines called for the proper burial of the Bilibid inmates.

"Kasi ‘yung katawan ay pinaglagakan ng kaluluwa na bigay ng Diyos sa atin. At siyempre, nu’ng nilikha tayo ng Diyos, nando’n ‘yung dignity of the human person. Kaya kumbaga, ‘yung paggalang sa buhay ng tao at paggalang din do’n sa kanyang katawan eh dapat nando’n," CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care Executive Secretary Fr. Nezelle Lirio has said.

BuCor has already buried 10 cadavers within the premises of the state penitentiary while dozens others are stored at a funeral parlor in Muntinlupa City.

The Department of Justice earlier said unclaimed remains that would not undergo autopsy would be buried.

Meanwhile, bodies for autopsy will be kept until the examination is finished, it added.

The investigation on the murder of journalist Percival Mabasa, more known as Percy Lapid, led to the discovery of the remains at Eastern Funeral Services.

Police alleged that BuCor director general Gerald Bantag, who is currently suspended from duty, was behind the radio commentator's murder. 

Bantag told DZRH broadcaster last month that he had nothing to do with the killing. 

Bantag and his deputy security officer Ricardo Zulueta have also been accused of ordering the killing of Cristito Villamor Palana, a Bilibid inmate who allegedly passed on the kill order to the gunman.

Palana was allegedly suffocated with a plastic bag by members of his own gang.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun has said some 120 bodies are already “mummified” or in a state of decomposition.

Based on the list from the BuCor, most of the inmates died allegedly due to acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, pneumonia, and cardiorespiratory arrest or the sudden loss of breathing and heart function.

Others allegedly died due to cardiovascular "accidents" while one inmate allegedly took his own life.

Fortun does not discount the possibility there could be foul play in some deaths.
 

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— With a report from Agence France-Presse