MANILA, Philippines (MDN National News) Senator Franklin Drilon yesterday said Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) chief Gerald Bantag can be axed for his failure to report the deaths of 9 high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prisons.
It has leaked on the media last week regarding the deaths of 21 prisoners who have reportedly died of the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19). Surprisingly, 9 of those inmates who died were high-profile prisoners, including the controversial drug convict Jaybee Sebastian, who was instrumental in the imprisonment of Senator Leila de Lima.
Other high-profile inmates who were also reported dead due to covid-19 include Frances Go, Amin Imam Boratong, Eugene Chua, Benjamin Marcelo, Sherwin Sanchez, Willy Yang, Shuli Zhang and Jimmy Hung Kin Sing.
It was Sebastian who testified against De Lima, alleging that the senator was into drug trading inside the New Bilibid Prisons, during a congressional investigation. The woman senator was detained on drug charges for 3 years. De Lima denied these accusations.
High profile inmates who have reportedly died of covid-19, and who were just buried witout being autopsied, have created a cloud of doubt among the legislators in the Upper Chamber.
In an interview with the media, Drilon said: “We lawyers have that principle in public offices, public officials are presumed to be performing their official functions. However, that presumption of the BuCor because of the record of past [irregularities] that we have unearthed in the Senate, like the sale of good conduct allowance, etc., this presumption or regularity in the performance of official duties cannot be maintained, because the people no longer have confidence in the officials of BuCor.”
During an earlier press briefing on Wednesday July 22, made by Bucor, it has released the death the high profile inmates’ death certificates, whose deaths were all being tied to covid-19.
In this briefing, the Bucor confirmed the 9 high profile detainees who reportedly died of the deadly coronavirus disease.
All the 7 high profile inmates known as Shuli Zhang, Willy Yang, Sherwin Sanchez, Benjamin Marcelo, Francis Go, Eugene Ho Chua, and Amin Imam Boratong, except Jimmy Hung Kin Sing, who was only presented with a notice of death.
Also during the briefing, Bucor’s chief physician Dr Henry Fabro said that there was an incident that an infected personnel entered Building 14, a place designated for high profile inmates and drug lords.
Fabro said: “There was a time po na may pumasok sa Building 14 na personnel na duty. Nagpositive po sila sa rapid test. Immediately, we quarantined them.”