BUREAU of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Wena Fe Bucos belied on Wednesday, October 23, the claim of a human rights group about the alleged abuse of prisoners inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in line with the bid to stop illegal activities in the national penitentiary.
“It is not happening. How can we deny visit of their (prisoners) lawyers? That is a clear propaganda,” she said.
A social media post by “Kapatid- Families and Friends of Political Prisoner’s” claimed that there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the NBP. The group said the maximum security compound is on lockdown and no visitors, including lawyers and church group members, are allowed to enter the premises.
It also said that seven prisoners have died due to the ongoing demolition of illegal shanties in the NBP.
“Electricity is cut off and reportedly even water. Limited food and water supply, among other basic needs is an immediate cause for concern for about 50 political prisoners at Building 11,” the group alleged.
“We appeal for support. The political prisoners are in urgent need of food, water, hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, folded toothbrush),” it added.
Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag earlier vowed to implement aggressive and massive reform programs particularly against erring and VIP (Very Important Persons) convicts inside the Bilibid.
Bantag was appointed after President Rodrigo Duterte asked then BuCor director Nicanor Faeldon to resign amid the controversies on the implementation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) which reduced the sentence of a prisoner based on good conduct.
A Senate investigation into GCTA has exposed tge massive corruption within BuCor and led to an inquiry into ninja cops and recycling of illegal drugs.
Ninja cops refer to police officers who recycle and sell illegal drugs that were confiscated during anti-drugs operations.
The Senate inquiry has led to the filing of charges against former Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and 13 alleged ninja cops (SunStar Philippines)